Cities with the most single women

I was at the bar with some of my male Brazilian friends last night when the subject arose briefly of which Brazilian city holds the title of the place with the most single women. Fast forward one day and I may have the answer. As with most studies, interest levitates towards the most recent research and it seems much of the information found below comes from the census of the year 2000 done by FVG (Getulio Vargas Foundation).

Breaking it all down

“According to the cities researched, the ranking of singles can be organized geographically in the following way: in first place, Salvador (with 45% of the population over 18 years old, 53% of which are women compared to 47% men), next up is Brasilia (41% over 18, of which 51% are men and 49% are women), Belo Horizonte (40% over 18, with 52% men and 48% women), Fortaleza (38% over 18, with 51% women and 49% men), Recife (36%), Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (both at 33%), and closing out the list, tied with 30%, the Southern region of the country, with Curitiba and Porto Alegre.

From what I gather, in laymens terms, that means of all women in Salvador (for example), 53% of them are single. I am not sure why the latter cities did not include percentages of men versus women, as the other cities did. Additionally, I am not certain as to why Recife gets a low percentage here and yet a high number later on (see where it says ’12 women to every man’).

As far as gender, the Brazilian reality is pretty democratic: 48% of the women are single, while the male counterpart is around 52%. In terms of age, singleness is higher among the younger segments of the population: 44% between ages 18 and 24 years old, 30% between ages 25 and 34 years old, 14% between ages 35 and 44 years old, 7% between ages 45 and 54 years old and 5% over the age of 54 years old. The division based on economic class shows a predominance within the middle segments of society. Singles encompass 10% of the upper-class, 33% of the middle class, 44% of the lower class and 13% of…the D class. 

The classes were divided into A, B, C and D without explaining any details of where the cut-off lies. I can only assume class D refers to the destitute and/or homeless, although how they could be counted doesn’t quite ‘add up’ in my mind. (See comments for more on the breakdown) 

The study also researched the leisure habits of single consumers.  The preferred habits of these men and women are as follows: listen to music (89%), watch films on DVD (70%), spend time in shopping centers (54%), take a walk (50%), go to the beach (48%), cook for friends (45%), go to shows (40%), have a barbeque (34%), dine out (33%), frequent nightclubs (31%), go on a bicycle ride (29%), travel on the weekend and frequent (sports)clubs (20%), watch soccer matches in a stadium (17%), go to the gym (14%), go to expositions in museums (11%), fish or go to concerts (9%), practice radical sports (5%) and surf (5%).” – Source (in PT)

Here it is, the breakdown of where they go and yes thats right, where to find them. The difference between “going to shows” and “going to concerts” was not expressed in the study.

Looking for a girlfriend?

“Searching for a girlfriend? According to the study, your chances are higher in Recife (PE), where there are 12 women for each man. And that female friend of yours thats always complaining of a lack of suitors? Suggest that she takes a look in Novo Progresso (PA) or in Álvaro de Carvalho (SP) – which are at the top of the ranking for the highest proportion of men versus women and also the highest level of single men in Brazil.” – Source (in PT)

Solitary in Bahia


The study by FGV listed the Brazilian municipalities with the highest concentration of single women. Of the top 10 ranking cities, eight are located in Bahia. In the capital, Salvador, 51% of the adult female population is unaccompanied. The academics suggest two motives for explaining the phenomenon.  The first is that, while in Brazil the option to be solitary is a phenomenon which is concentrated within the higher classes. In Bahia, cultural aspects among the upper-class make possible the lack of necesity for a traditional ‘bread-winner’. Due to matriarquial tradition within the state, especially influenced by candomblé, women frequently compose domiciles run by the women themselves. “It’s common to find various generations of women within one family living under the same roof”, stated the sociologist Maria Gabriela Ita, from the Universidade Federal da Bahia. “The local culture serves as a means to foster survival without the need for a partner to sustain the household and thus guarantees them the option to remain single”, she says. Migration is another factor that contributed to the high level of single females in Bahia. Among the eight municipalities in the state with the highest numbers of single women, seven are in the interior. They are poor cities, which present an elevated index of populational evasion, notably of the male kind. Traditionally, the men leave their native cities in search of better work opportunities. In the ranking of the ten Brazilian cities with the least concentration of single women, seven are situated in the state of Mato Grosso. There, the opposite phenomenom has occured: the cities of Mato Grosso, through sustaining a prosperous argricultural industry where the principal economic activity is soy, they become poles of attraction for migrants. More work, more men. And, of course, less single women.” – Source (in PT)
Perhaps the research here was done at either an earlier or later time than the other previous sections of this article (as Salvador gets a 51% here while towards the beginning of the article, it gets a 53%).

7 thoughts on “Cities with the most single women

  1. first of all – whew for living in são paulo! at least i know there’s SOME chance of finding a man in this city (but on the other hand – did you look into the homosexual population of the latter cities? it might be interesting to see if they classified single women/men as single and straight? just a thought)

    secondly – the classes in brazil are pretty complicated… i’ve looked into it because i wasn’t sure what they meant, but the breakdown i’ve found has been something like:

    A & B = monthly income of more than R$5.000 (both upper class)
    C = around R$1.000-R$5.000 a month (middle class?)
    D = between R$800-R$1.000 (lower class)
    destitute/homeless/very poor would be classified as E, or less than R$800 which, like you said – would be difficult to measure…

    i’ll have to find the article for you – but i feel like it was an FGV study too!

    beijooss and bom final de semana!

    • In the greater SP I believe the pop. is 22 mil…so I think you aren’t out of luck there, lol. I was wondering about the definition of single and if that included or excluded homosexuals.

      One of my friends with whom I was at the bar, when I showed him this article, he said “that means if I was from Recife and living here in the States, some lucky bastard would have 24 women to choose from statistically”…lol. His statistics, while nice to consider, are perhaps more wishful thinking than possibility…as the extra 12 leftover from one male being absent from the local population would barely make a dent in the overall statistics. At best, and I highly doubt it, it would alter the number to 13 women per every man.

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  4. first off travel around brazil first….. My cousin married a Brazilian and his wife told me Bahia is a shit hole…. I went back and forth between rio de janeiro 4 times (4 trips)…. then several years later to iticatera went to Salvador plans on staying a month…… but ended up spending 2 days if u go u’ll see why…. Bahia is way less developed then rest of brazil…. spent day in bom depatcho and only a month in iticatera when planed on staying four months…. the reason is Salvador does have a lot of crime but the vibe is different in the north then south…. my cousin repeated that no one from rio on south goes to Bahia because no need to its a dirty shity place…. like in California there are arm pit cities like modesto city or Bakersfield…. if you travel a lot u will go to certain places and say wow ya I am gunna stay shorter than expected….. Bahia is one of those places….. believe me when I say this the Brazilian women are the prettiest in the world…. in the north it is predominantly black if u see a white girl its like wheres waldo….. but the attitude of the girls in Bahia a far contrast to rest of brazil….. not in a positive way…. even rio de janiero has pockets that are different…. leblond rich class hardly any vendors…. impenima young crowed middle class….. coca cabana poor middle class and the water there dirty tell you get around the fort or peninsula to impenima…… Niteroi is a rich more middle class area and the difference compared to rio the center is way different….. compared to usa the way women are here anywhere in brazil will blow ur mind the girls are way more mature and sophisticated… easy to talk to easy to date…… but it is a way complex culture….. there is a big gap between rich and poor different attitudes different regions.. a culture that lives in the moment and enjoys life to the fullest yet has significant difference between individuals themselves…. America to be honest we think where extremely different but where not because the more you travel the more you will see that places like England and us lack I guess more or less culture based on control and individual ality is something distinguished by material things more it seems…… this is just my experiences…. u may think different but I highly recommend traveling around different countries staying in multiple cities scattered about rather than putting all eggs in one basket and being disappointed then saying oh brazil sucks when maybe that one place sucked… usa is the worst place to be a guy.. the girls are the lowest quality lowest maturity….. they control men through extraverted energy games with tensing up and projecting such a negative beam of energy that is why California compared to rest of states is considered obnoxious and usa compared to rest of world is obnoxious we are extraverted the guys try and gain control and the girls play constant petty games and think they know everything until they travel abroad and everyone looks at them like wow how embarrassing……. the simple fact is get out there travel to see new things experience different traditions and customs…. don t go for sole reason to get laid….. hhaha good luck

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