In many ways the recession hit young men hardest. Employment in the male dominated construction sector collapsed, while employment in the more female public sector was relatively stable. As a result young men were most likely to emigrate.
The result has been the ratio of men to women (the sex-ratio) for those aged 25-34 fell to the lowest level since records began. If this age group were in a nightclub for every 100 women, there would be only 93 men.
While this may not seem dramatic, the figure is even more depressing for single women hoping to be in a relationship with a man*. Though there are no good statistics for the fraction of people that are in a relationship, lets suppose 80% of women aged 25-34 are in a relationship, leaving 20 single women in our nightclub. However, that leaves only 13 single guys (a sex ratio of .65). Therefore Ireland’s plunge in the sex-ratio can have a far larger impact than may first appear.
*For the sake of simplicity I’m pretending all the gay people are in the George for the night.