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It's not puzzling, male life expectancy has increased faster than female life expectancy. The advent of statins has greatly reduced the chances of heart disease and the decline of smoking (which leads to heart disease, stroke and cancer, among other things) has benefited men more as more men smoked proportionately than women. The male-female life expectancy gap has been closing steadily for the last twenty years, it is now down to 2.5 years.

Men were simply fortunate to have a risk profile which benefited more from medical advances and behaviour changes than women's risk profile.

Determinant - looking at the numbers, though, I'm guessing some of it is coming from immigration also, because those more-female communities are almost all places that don't attract many immigrants. There was also a bit of a baby boom in the mid-2000s. So I'm really not sure about the relative importance of these various factors.

Immigration is not internal migration, and Canada doesn't have large enough immigration to dramatically skew our demographic profile. The fact that there are more men in one area is compensated by there being less men in another area. A country is a closed system, except for migration, which as I said isn't large enough to skew results. 250,000 people a year in a population of 35 million won't change

A baby boom is also irrelvant because it results in a natural sex ratio anyway. It's deaths that matter.

On a national level, health factors are dramatically more important than migration in determining the sex ratio at a given time.

"The latest Census release provides us with a new and vital insight into Canadian demographics: Petawawa, Ontario is the best place in Canada to meet a man."

My friend used to give girls he knew in Petawawa rides to the middle of nowhere and then pick them up hrs later.

I was surprised that the male/female dispersion wasn't greater. Anecdotal stuff about "shortages of eligible men/women around here" suggested bigger dispersion.

Maybe using the 15-64 age range makes the dispersion slightly less than (say) a 20-64 age range, since 15 and 16 year olds don't usually leave home, so you would get equal numbers of each. But that can't change the percentages that much.

My hunch is that mobility is highest for people in their late teens and early twenties, and so the age range at which sex dispersion would be greatest would be at the point where mobility ends, maybe around age 30? (Ignoring old age, of course, with men still dying younger).

Or maybe, even small differences in numbers make for bigger differences in unattached numbers, once people start to pair off (given monogamy).

Nick: "I was surprised that the male/female dispersion wasn't greater."

(55.5-44.5)/44.5 = 25% more men than women in Petawawa. Then removing all the married ones, sounds pretty sucky for Petawawa Man.

K: Hmmm. Yes, it does look a lot worse when you do some basic algebra. Funny how that happens!

Nick - yup, the 15-64 age range is pretty limiting, but the census data released only seemed to provide data on under 15s, 15-64s, 65+ and 80+.

Keystone Garter: ?

K: that kind of calculation is pretty familiar to people looking at university students. When universities are 60% female, that means the female/male ratio is .6/.4 or 1.5 to one.

I had to read Keystone Garter's comment 3 times before I figured it out! He's saying (I'm pretty sure) that Petawawa men are willing to act as unpaid taxi drivers for women, just to get some company. Not that they kick the women out of the car in the middle of nowhere and leave them there for hours!

Some women like Base guys is all I'm saying. I let a girl sleep in my bed but had no chance with her as she was a Base girl. Cold Lake also a Base.
Someone kept insisting I sleep with an elderly woman who was about to die. So small white towns are also overweighted women. If it is obvious, might want to add why there is a ratio difference lest your migrant gets left out in the cold.

Nick: I have a more time-efficient multiplier for reading baffling/creepy comments.

Demographic change is endlessly fascinating. The Globe's article on Airdrie, AB, a town of 45,000 with no hospital, is both amazing but also a little bracing. While we have good reason to be concerned about the long-term, short-term shifts can be equally difficult for public services.

"shortages of eligible men/women around here"

Note the key qualifier: "eligible". I don't know, but I suspect for most woman, the "eligibility" requirement goes beyong a Y chromosome (then again, my wife married me... maybe I don't want to go there).

In terms of the increase in the number of men, I might suggest two possible explanation. One, if there's been a bit of a baby boom, that might be a contributing factor, since babies are statistically more likely to be boys (nature's way of correcting for the fact that males are more likely to die young). The number is small (there are generally 105 boys born for every 100 woman, at least in societies that don't practice gender based abortion), but then again we're talking about a 0.08% change.

Other than that, could it be that woman have embraced the many dumb things that used to be the sole (or at least, dominant) preserve of the males of the species, which led to them getting killed at a faster clip? The gender gaps for doing things like smoking, drinking, climbing Mount Everest (to name a few) seems to be declining over time. Not sure that's neccesarily a good thing.

Bob, yup, I think it's both of those things (shrinking male/female gap in life expectancy plus blip up in the birth rate), plus the flow of immigrants isn't 50/50 male/female (don't recall the exact #s, and don't have time to look right now).

I've been looking at Calgary demographics and noticed that in the 25-34 age bracket for Calgary there are more women than men (slightly). Is this because the guys are in Fort Mac? or are they balancing out the men 35-44 (in which age bracket there are slightly more men).

I also noticed that in Calgary there are more toddlers (ages 0-4) than boomers 55-59 or 60-64.

That was noted in the national news yesterday. For the first time in five decades, the fertility ratio of Canadian women, the average number of births per mother, has increased.

Wendy, in the lower mainland, despite the explosion of people with strollers on the Skytrain, it still seems that a lot of young families with children move out to places like Abbotsford and Chilliwack, where they aren't counted towards the Vancouver census numbers. I suspect that in Calgary and Edmonton, those young families with kids are still inside the city limits, and this is impacting the age/sex composition of the cities.

I don't know about the 25-34 age bracket - guys in Fort Mac, or just on the farm, would do it. Universities are become female-dominated places, and this probably impacts numbers a little bit too, though I'd think it wouldn't affect 25-34 that much.

Sorry, I meant, explosion in the number of people with stroller.

I don't know about the 25-34 age bracket - guys in Fort Mac, or just on the farm, would do it. Universities are become female-dominated places, and this probably impacts numbers a little bit too, though I'd think it wouldn't affect 25-34 that much.

But not Faculties of Engineering, which are still male-dominated despite everyone's best efforts. Old joke: What do Engineers use for birth control? Their personalities.

Nursing Faculties are still strongly female dominated.

Determinant: about higher birth rates, something similar is also happening in some parts of Europe. It may be different in Canada, but the delayed maternity is the reason why this is happening in my country. The shift in the time when women usually gave birth changed from 18-28 years closer to 28-38 years. This change in behavior somewhat overstated the birth rate problem in the past and it also created a temporary blip in birth rates during recent years. But the underlying problem of natural decline is still there.

J.V. Dubois: But in most developped countries, falling birtrate is accompanied by increasing level of education. Same stock of human capital, less resources needed. Like armies replacing lot of conscripts needing lot of supplies by higly-trained Special Forces...

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