Male / Female Bay Area Gender Ratios: Napa, Oakland, Redwood City, San Francisco, San Rafael, Santa Rosa is one of the early pioneers of the online dating industry. With a straightforward approach to creating detailed profile, browsing matches and messaging individuals directly it quickly became a popular destination for singles looking for love online.

Over the years, other entrants came on the scene changing the way singles approached dating apps. Syncing data from Facebook, uploading photos directly from your phone and quickly swiping on profiles made it popular among folks looking for something different.

As such the demographics of started to change to reflect a migration of users to other apps as well as attracting those looking to elaborate more about their personality, those looking for something more serious than the implied hook-up and casual fling of Tinder as well as those not eager to go all in on mobile only dating sites.

(For advice on improving your profile, check out this previous post).

Looking at the demographics of the San Francisco Bay Area on, one can see the stereotypes surface easily (Man Jose). With an over 3:1 ratio of men to women in the 25-29 range, it is no wonder dating can be brutal not just for men but for women too. (For ratios in the Southern California area, click here).

Men are competing for a smaller pool of women in these markets and a lack of matches, replies or even profile views can lead to frustration, depression, or drastic efforts to get the attention from women. Layer on top of this the fact that is one of the few dating sites that requires people to pay for subscriptions to message others, frustration can kick in leaving many to wonder if their advances were rejected or if they were ever read at all.

Given that the Tinder’s of the world are viewed as more superficial and photo visual, Match offers a more holistic approach to marketing oneself. This is a big selling point for a number of introverted men who are a bit shy, a bit quirky and lack captivating photos (queue tech workers of Silicon Valley). See how your photos compare to others with this dating photo bingo card.

However, as you browse older groups of folks, the gender ratios across many areas begins to level out closers to a 1:1 ratio of men to women. There are several possible explanations here but I have a few guesses as to why:

  1. Men are more likely to start using dating sites at an early age than women.
  2. Women are more likely to start using dating sites later on in life after a life event, desire to start a family or disinterest in using hookup sites like Tinder.
  3. Men after years of frustration of and rejection from using abandon it in favor of free apps like Tinder that cater to more casual encounters and don’t reveal preferences like age like Tinder .
  4. The number of technology and startup jobs that attract more men than women right out of college (selection bias).
  5. App culture of Silicon Valley where people are exposed to making every aspect of their lives (ordering clothes, cabs, food etc.) easier through their phone.

Moving to San Francisco from San Jose is one way for men to improve their chances with online dating (not just in terms of gender ratios but also frequency of interaction on public transportation, nightlife, cultural events etc). With that said it won’t help if you have poor photos, don’t know how to construct good bios and introductory messages nor if you are on an inferior dating app based on what your demographics or what you seek. 

Dating apps (in my opinion) are meant to serve as a supplemental way to meet people outside your normal day to day routine – it is not meant to be a crutch nor the only way for you to meet others. (If you are new to online dating, check out this FAQ guide before you start swiping away). Online dating is a misnomer – you don’t date online. Dating apps are merely an introduction – you meet online and date offline. Having realistic expectations (preferences, deal-breakers), working on yourself (physically, mentally, socially) as well as putting in a genuine effort through your appearance, photos and app choice will go a long way to improving your chances at success online and offline.

For additional tips about dating apps, profile photos, bios, prompts, check out my blog.