Where the young, single people are in Connecticut

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If you’re young and single in Connecticut, there are certain places where you are more likely to find a partner — and others where there aren’t many fish in the sea. It all depends on your age group and which gender you’re seeking.

TrendCT analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to figure out where in the state where people ages 20 to 29 live — and then whether they were unmarried.

So, first off: Where do young people live?

As expected, residents in their early-20s tend to dominate college towns like Mansfield and New London. In Mansfield, home of the University of Connecticut, one in three residents is between ages 20 and 24.

Mansfield’s town clerk, Christine Hawthorne, said the high percentage of college-aged residents in the town was a good thing. “A few [Mansfield residents] are concerned with the traffic that students bring, but they are an asset for the town by far.”

After Mansfield, the top towns for people in their early-20s are all home to colleges, or are near one. Willington is near UConn; New London is home to the United States Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College and Mitchell College; Groton has the University of Connecticut Avery Point branch; and Windham houses Eastern Connecticut State University.

But after graduation, the data suggests that these younger residents leave the area in which they were educated, in favor of more urban areas of the state, such as New Haven and Stamford. Check out the map at the top of the story to see this phenomenon.

Are they mostly male or female?

But it’s not as easy as being around young people — because, in some towns, the male-to-female ratio is skewed.

For example, those looking for a female mate in Groton won’t have great odds. There are nearly twice as many males between 20 and 24 as there are females. The next age bracket, 25 to 29, also has a disproportionate number of males in Groton. This phenomenon may be because the U.S. Naval Submarine Base is located in Groton.

“I think that [the number of males aged 20 to 24] fluctuates,” Groton Town Clerk Betsy Moukawsher said. She said what skews the demographics is that military personnel are often stationed in Groton for a couple of years, or university students come and go. She also said there is a lot of summer activity in Groton which could contribute to the percentage of 20- to 24-year-olds.

“[The data is] a snap in the moment,” she said.

In New London, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy skews the numbers. According to the 2015 U.S. News and World Report, the cadet corps is 66 percent male and 34 percent female, which probably accounts for the disproportionate number of males in that age bracket.

Out east, in Sterling, there are more young females than males. In fact, women between ages 25 and 29 account for almost 12 percent of the female population in Sterling while men in that age group only account for 4 percent of all males. But there are only 81 men and 196 women in the age group.

Sterling is an outlier, and the ratios are much more even in most Connecticut towns.

Are they married?

So far, we’ve determined where residents are young and of a given gender. But if they are married, that’s a whole other matter. So, we analyzed an expanded cohort of people ages 20 to 34 to find out: Where in the state are younger people more likely to be single?

Statewide, there are fewer single females than males, and that is reflected in most towns. Regardless of gender, there are high rates of single young people in towns on the western border of the state, such as Kent, Sharon, Salisbury, Greenwich and New Fairfield. (They aren’t big towns, so watch out for margins of error in the estimates.) In those areas, about 75 to 80 percent of males between 20 and 34 are single, and between 60 percent to 80 percent of females.

Younger residents who live in the cities are less likely to be married people, with low marriage rates in places like New Haven and Hartford, where only 6 percent of males 20 to 34 married and 7 percent of females 20 to 34 are married. New London, however, is an outlier, with a significantly larger married population than other cities in Connecticut.

Other than urban areas, college towns are less likely to have married couples between the ages of 20 and 34. In Mansfield, where about one third of the population is between the ages of 20 and 34, only 5 percent of males and 3 percent of females are married.

What do you think?