ALL THE SINGLE LADIES

For the first time in centuries, Swedish men outnumber women

By many measures, Sweden is the second-best country in which to be a woman, after Denmark. But for single, heterosexual women looking for partners, it may be number one: Unusually for a Western country, men now outnumber women in Sweden, Associated Press reports.

In March 2015, Swedish authorities realized they had 227 more men than women—a first for the country since record-keeping began in 1749. The excess male population has since grown to 12,000—not insignificant considering a total population of under 10 million.

Naturally, more boys are born than girls (about 107 boys for every 100 girls). However, in the West, women usually live longer (pdf, p. 13-19), eventually tipping the population-wide balance toward women. Now, likely due to recent immigration patterns, and a rise in men’s life expectancy, the percentage of men in several European populations is rising.

In Germany, for instance, where the male population was once depleted by WWII, the sex ratio has risen from 87 men for every 100 women in the 1960s, to 96 men for every 100 women in 2015. Denmark and Switzerland have essentially equal proportions of men and women residents. And the UK expects to have a male majority by 2050.

It’s unclear how an eventual predominance of men will affect these countries. Studies in China and India, where the sex ratio has long favored men (respectively 106 and 108 men for every 100 women), suggest an association between larger male populations and more violent crime. But in Sweden, a country known for its forward-thinking policies regarding gender equality, a larger pool of single men may be the cherry on top for already empowered women.

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