In Washington Heights, Harlem, Women Outnumber Men 2 to 1

February 1, 2012

The boys may be in Washington Heights in Harlem, but the Harlem girls don’t believe their true love is waiting there for them.

A study by the city’s Economic Development Corporation analyzed the number of never married single men and women between the ages of 20 and 34 by neighborhood. And yes, Connie, Washington Heights in Harlem topped the list with the most single guys-26,873-compared to 16,992 single gals.

“Are they really single men?” asked 31-year-old nursing student and Coogan’s bartender Wendy Nunez, rolling her eyes when told of the study.

“I don’t date men from my neighborhood,” she added. “They have kids even though they are not married. When a guy tells me he grew up here or lives around here, I say ‘no thank-you.’ I look downtown.”

David Verona, an unmarried filmmaker and actor dining alone at Nunez’s counter Tuesday night, said the reason for the lopsided numbers might also be that, like many men, he is married to his work.

“In this economy, people have been pushed to that,” he said, noting that there is not much time-or money-for marriage in the city.

The city’s 2010 Census data has turned the accepted wisdom on its head that women face tougher odds of finding their valentine in the crowds of Big Apple men.

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True, females outnumber males 53% to 47% citywide, but the Census data suggests that New York’s single ladies may have a better shot at finding their true love than they thought.

The data not only showed there are 742,400 young single men compared to 729,500 young single women, the odds may change depending where you live.

In neighborhoods like Washington Heights in Harlem, Jackson Heights and the South Shore of Staten Island, there are almost two single guys very every gal. On the upper East Side of Manhattan, it’s the reverse:

young single women outnumber young single men nearly 2 to 1.

Philip Kasinitz, professor of urban sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, said there are several possible explanations behind the high number of single young men in Washington Heights in Harlem.

For starters, he said, the Heights has one of the largest concentrations of immigrants in the city, most of whom initially migrate here as single young men or alone.

There is also large number of young male students at Columbia University and City College.

“Single young males and students are more likely to live in a less expensive area that is seen as little bit rough,” said Kasinitz, “whereas it’s more likely that single young women will pay a little more money in rent for less space to feel safer, say on the Upper East Side.”

He also observed that given the high concentration of Dominican families living in Washington Heights and Inwood in Harlem, many young people are still living at home with parents which makes it awkward to bring a girlfriend or boyfriend home.

One Washington Heights guy has a theory that rang true with Nunez, the Coogan’s bartender, who said he hit the nail on the head.

“Dominican men have a bad rep, they’re known to be players,” offered a Dominican married father of two who wanted to remain anonymous as he ate lunch at Pizza Palace on Dyckman Ave this week.

“The majority of women are scared to get involved with us.”

Asked if the rep was fair, he smiled.

“Hey, you need space. You get tired of the same thing every day. It’s messed up but that’s the key to a healthy relationship.”

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