Monday, September 10, 2007

100th Post Blogoversary: XKCD and Dating

XKCD, the famous webcomic for nerds, has a new comic up about "dating pools". I've heard the (age/2)+7 rule a few times before, but I've never considered plotting it out to see what it implies. Someone found some census data, and reports that the results are less promising than XKCD suggests. This figure shows that, given the (age/2)+7 rule, available singles peaks at 27.
Another figure suggests that XKCD was basically right...
Here the number of available partners does show a concave shape. Even though I am too lazy to do the graphing, I am inclined, based on intuition, to believe the latter curves rather than the former. I wonder if anyone out there cares to clear up this controversy. I am sure your paper would fly thru peer review at the venerable Annals of Improbable Research. Just make sure you credit me as a co-author in keeping with the guidelines for giving credit where credit is due:

Anyway, back to the graph. The situation is poor for single women past 35 yrs of age; they far outnumber single men of a similar age. Interestingly the sex ratio at birth is 1.05:1 in favor of men. (The genetics of sex ratio are a very interesting story, which I will cover at some point). However, men are stupid, risk-taking fools whose bodies tend to degenerate faster, thus women tend to live, on average, six years longer than men. Men, that is those that haven't offed themselves in some ridiculous stunt, will enjoy less competition for mates once they are past the age of 35.

On the other hand, there are some folks who can mathematically demonstrate that they will remain single for all time.


  1. My anecdotal data supports graph 1. I met my wife when we were both 28.

  2. Well, happy blogiversary. But for the next 100 posts on your blog, will you please stop posting about my poor dating odds???