A lot could be written about this day, but as Eikinomics focuses on the economic quirks of life, this post will look at the chances of meeting the that special someone.

The inspiration for this post has come from one of our favourite podcasts here at Eikinomics, This American Life of NPR staring Ira Glass. The podcast was namely called Valentines Day. In their podcast David Kestenbaum a physicist by training calculates how many eligible woman there are in his town of Boston. The method of calculation he uses is based of some calculation for determining how many planets there are that may habour life.

What this post will do is run a similar calculation using the latest census data for Wellington the city that I live in which has a population of 471,315.

First of all, who is my preferred partner? Well, I don’t have a car and while public transport is great I really don’t want to travel far so they must live near by. She also is aged between 20 and 29* and has a university education. So I am a bit picky really when you think about it but why not?

Lets look at the numbers then:

Population of Wellington 471,315
Population of nearby suburbs 36,693
Females nearby 18,017
Females in my age range, and nearby^ 4,343
Females with a university education, in my age range, and nearby 1,998

Well that got down to a very small number rather quickly. This is before we even get into things like music preference, whether I find them attractive and if they are attracted to me. Things then start to look very slim. But after all, you are only looking for one person.

In the next post we will look at the search cost of dating.


* really it is a bit about bit above 20 and bit below 30 but this is data band.

^some liberty has been taken in working this out. I have assumed that more of this age group live in these suburbs than in the whole of Wellington (25% instead of 15%).


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