Denver has long had a reputation for having a surplus of single males, leading to the nickname Menver. Locals have spent years debating whether this is myth or reality. But now, U.S. government data suggests there actually are more available men than available women in the Mile High City. At least 19,000 more, in fact.
We first explored the Menver issue back in May 2006, via a column headlined "Of Mice and Menver." Here's an excerpt:
Rachel "Silly Gilly" Gillis and her friends are twenty-something transplants who moved to Denver in pursuit of mountain views, sun-drenched skies and a lively singles' scene. They found all three, and now have an affectionate nickname for their new home: Menver.
Soon after she moved to West Washington Park, Gillis described her neighborhood bar, the Candle Light Tavern, "a.k.a the man-delight," on her myspace page. "The ratio is absurd," she wrote. "Oh. Wait. That's all of Denver. MENVER. If you are a guy I feel bad, just don't leave."
The Menver moniker was growing in popularity during the last decade; it was even referenced in an issue of GQ magazine the month before our column. And while the gap between the number of men and women in Denver between the ages of twenty and 39 was actually quite modest by then-current Census Bureau stats, the evidence at nightspots around town suggested otherwise.
"It can be a bit of a sausage fest," Keli Hanley, a bartender at Govnr's Park, told us at the time. "If you're picking up guys, it's great."
Back then, there were always more men than women at the Celtic Tavern and the Sports Column in LoDo, too. And a female bartender at the Atomic Cowboy on East Colfax smiled when asked if she'd ever heard the Menver term. "I think you'll find that all over," she said. "It seems like the population of Denver is more men."
Seven years later, we took on the topic again in a post titled "Busting Some Long-Held Myths About the Mile High City." Here's the text accompanying the heading "There are so many men here, this town is really Menver":
While gender inequality in certain bro-heavy ski towns may have given rise to the "Menver" concept, the statistics don't back it up. According to the 2010 United States Census (the last record we downloaded before the government shutdown), the sexes are pretty evenly divided in Denver: For every 100 females, there are 102.1 males.
"Since Denver is in the fittest state in the nation, caters to outdoorsy types plus boasts to be the Napa Valley of beer — women safely assume that there is a Mountain Man McDreamy around every corner — hence Menver," explains Amber Miller, spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Hancock. "All the single ladies must have gotten the rugged-man memo, because the playing field is actually a wash! I guess the 'Yeti' isn't just an imperial stout from Great Divide — it's the myth of Menver. Do you believe?"
You should — but evidence requires some digging. Note that in the 2015 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Denver listing shows 324,730 males living in the city versus 324,924 females — meaning women were estimated to outnumber men by nearly 200. What the hell?
Fortunately, the folks at 9News stumbled upon a more specific breakdown from the study, this one zeroing in on "Sex by Marital Status by Age for the Population: 15 Years and Over." This data looks at men and women by marital status, and under the category "never married," the Census Bureau counts 120,149 men in Denver and 101,051 women.
Proof at last! Better yet, the numbers hold up in a slew of prime dating age ranges, including 25-29, 30-34 and 35-39, as seen below:
Never Married Male:
15 to 17 years 8,650 +/-57
18 and 19 years 6,714 +/-88
20 to 24 years 19,969 +/-349
25 to 29 years 28,391 +/-649
30 to 34 years 18,809 +/-754
35 to 39 years 9,654 +/-690
40 to 44 years 7,059 +/-703
45 to 49 years 6,029 +/-492
50 to 54 years 5,297 +/-485
55 to 59 years 4,053 +/-388
60 to 64 years 2,930 +/-330
65 to 74 years 1,971 +/-272
75 to 84 years 465 +/-112
85 years and over 158 +/-65
Never Married Female:
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15 to 17 years 8,618 +/-115
18 and 19 years 6,728 +/-113
20 to 24 years 19,510 +/-385
25 to 29 years 24,591 +/-563
30 to 34 years 14,281 +/-675
35 to 39 years 7,222 +/-531
40 to 44 years 5,155 +/-535
45 to 49 years 3,796 +/-401
50 to 54 years 3,696 +/-347
55 to 59 years 2,331 +/-277
60 to 64 years 2,389 +/-314
65 to 74 years 1,699 +/-238
75 to 84 years 723 +/-207
85 years and over 312 +/-99
Of course, there's no way of telling from these figures whether those 19,000-plus men are actively looking for that perfect woman — or looking for a woman at all. But as of now, we're revising that whole idea of Menver being a myth.
Condoms are available in aisle seven!