New Zealand has 52,000 more women than men in the 25-49 age group

The man drought is a simple fact: New Zealand has 52,00 more women than men in the 25-49 age group.

Australian demographer Bernard Salt, who coined the phrase, told the Melbourne Age the imbalance was so bad that “a 34-year-old heterosexual woman in New Zealand [had] as much chance of finding a male partner her own age as does an 85 year old woman”.

Wellington author Hannah August decided to delve further into the impact of this mismatch and began interviewing single women about their experiences for her book No Country for Old Maids? Talking About the Man Drought.

She said most media coverage didn’t capture the vast range of women’s experiences.

Many articles also implicitly suggested single women needed to do more to attract a man, including presenting themselves differently, relocating and using internet dating.

“Those accounts also offer women little or no rejoinder, they deny women the chance to explain why, in fact, they may wish to trust their own judgement about what, or who, is right for them, and why a particular proposed ‘solution’ to their singledom, might for them, be no solution at all,” August said.