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By the time the single population reaches 60, there are roughly twice as many single women as men due to women’s longer life expectancy.

The choices are further depleted by men’s tendency to prefer younger women, Wilkinson said.

The median age of marriage for women is now 26 compared with 20 in 1950, according to the Census Bureau. The drawback of that trend is when people are ready to marry, they have already passed up the best opportunities to find someone.

“After high school and college, people are out of an easy pool of eligible people,” Schwartz said.

Census figures may not be an accurate reflection of who is paired up because they don't divide out by age group how many people are partnered but not legally married.

That trend is more noticeable among women, who commonly attend college and launch a career before getting married, unlike many of their predecessors.

“They have more choices in life,” said Lindsey Wilkinson, sociology professor at Portland State University.

Finding a partner is difficult, but knowing the reality of who’s available and where to meet them can help singles improve their chances of finding their Valentine.

Pepper Schwartz, a sociology professor from the University of Washington and author of more than a dozen books on love, compares searching for a mate with a job hunt.

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