4. SEX RATIOS

The sex ratio, the number of males per hundred females, is the conventional measure of the sex composition of a population. It is often computed by age and is typically highest at the lowest ages, diminishes at successively higher ages due to high mortality among males, and is lowest at the highest ages. Migration or other special factors can distort this pattern.

According to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, the sex ratio in the area has remained fairly constant over the last 25 years. At the time of the Corporation survey the sex ratio was 88.2. Table 5.5 analyzes the sex ratios by age groups.

The pattern of sex ratios in the study area does not conform exactly to the description of the typical sex ratio given in the introductory paragraph of this section. The ratio in the age group between 15 and 24 is unusually low, perhaps because more women of this age are living and working in the downtown area than men. The observation that the sex ratio is highest at the lowest ages does not apply here either; it is highest between the ages of 25 and 34. It is also not lowest at the highest ages. The fact that the pattern does not conform to what is a typical or "normal" pattern may be due to a number of factors. The population of the study area is older than usual, the number of families is declining, and the proportion of single person-households is very high. All of these conditions are characteristic of the Downtown population and distort the normal sex-ratio pattern.