Having read in several places about skewed Male:Female sex ratios on online dating sites, i thought I’d do a little experiment and try counting them myself. I used Plenty Of Fish, which currently is the most widely used site. Since I can’t actually count every male and female site member and then calculate the male:female ratios and I don’t have access to the Plenty of Fish database, I decided to use a count of the members who are Online Now to estimate the male:female ratio. This is pretty easy to do with POF because it shows up clearly on the search result pages and when you do the search you just choose Sort by Last Visit and the everyone who’s Online Now comes up first in the results.

For the other search terms I used:

  • All Profiles (with or without picture)
  • For Anything (Dating, Long Term etc.)
  • All Ethnicities
  • Within 25 miles

The search was done using a central Toronto postal code and was done over four different evenings at slightly different times, all of which seemed to exhibit a pretty similar pattern.

As to the age splits I chose, they seem reasonable. Any choice of groupings is at least somewhat arbitrary and could probably be criticized, but short of doing a separate count for each and every age this seemed like a good choice.

The ratios ranged from a high of 3.43:1 (age 30-34) to a low of 0.86:1 (age 45-49), though varied from evening to evening for those age groups. Overall, the data for the different dates all show a similar pattern with the sex ratio most highly skewed in the late 20’s and early 30’s, being fairly even in the 40’s and then increasing a bit in the 50’s.

Here’s the actual data and graphs for the four data sets.

And finally here’s a table showing the data for all four evenings together and a chart of the male:female sex ratio by age group based on this data.