By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney
Saturday, 30 August 2008
An analysis of new census figures has shown that Australia is suffering from an unprecedented "man drought".
The statistics have revealed that there are almost 100,000 more females than males in Australia.
The problem is worse in the coastal cities, where women have moved seeking better jobs and lifestyles, while many men have gone overseas.
Thirty years ago Australia was with flush with men thanks to immigration policies that favoured males.
That position has been reversed because thousands of Australian men in their 20s and early 30s have gone overseas either to travel or to work.
It has caused a gender imbalance that is having far-reaching implications.
Town and country
Major cities in Australia now have concentrated groups of unattached women, along with dwindling numbers of the opposite sex.
Demographer Bernard Salt says the exodus of young men to foreign countries is leaving its mark.
"If you go into the United Arab Emirates census you'll find there is around 12,000 Australians living in Dubai, mostly male, mostly in the 25 to 34-year age group.
"Here is an example of one country that has drawn out a specific age demographic out of Australia which has contributed to the 'man drought'."
But the situation outside of the larger towns and cities is very different.
Vast numbers of women have abandoned the countryside seeking better jobs or education in metropolitan areas. They have left behind communities overloaded with younger males.
In the town of Glenden in the northern state of Queensland there is one single female for every 23 men.
Demographers have compiled a so-called "Love Map" that shows how the various
clusters of unattached men and women are distributed across the Australian