Monday, June 17, 2013


A friend, just returned from Barcelona, said that he had heard that they are many more women than men there in fact three to one. He apparently found the estimate plausible. His companion thought that this might be because he just doesn't notice the men.

When I first moved to Washington, DC, I heard that there were many more women than men here. I believe that the ratio I heard was 2 to 1. In Thomas Pynchon's V, set in 1956, the ratio is given as 8 to 1. I can't say that I ever noticed any such disproportion, unless maybe once in the salad line at a lunch spot. Probably between 1942 and 1946 there were many more women than men, since the government was growing rapidly and the armed services were drafting any man who was fit to serve. The 2010 census found 100 women to every 89 men, a ratio not far off the national one.


  1. What would be the perfect ratio, do you think?

    1. I can't say. The notional 2-to-1 certainly did me no great good when I moved here. (Or maybe my life would have been direr in one of those few states, mostly out west, where there are more men than women.) The US seems to get by decently as it is.