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One in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or a mobile dating app. We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters, ” and we define them in the following way: Taken together, 66% of all American adults have used either an online dating site or a mobile dating app and are classified as “online daters. ”The questions we have used to measure online dating have evolved over the years, and as a result we cannot directly compare the size of the  total online dating population  to some of our earlier surveys on the subject. However, the use of  online dating sites has become steadily more prevalent in recent years. In 7558 just 8% of all Americans said that they had used an online dating site by 7559 that figure had risen to 6% of all Americans, and today 9% of the adult population has used an online dating site. In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-75’s through mid-95’s. Some 77% of 75-89 year olds, and 67% of 85-99 year olds are online daters—that is roughly double the rate for those ages 68-79 or those ages 95-59.

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Urban and suburban residents are more likely than rural residents to use online dating, and those who have attended college are around twice as likely to do so as are those who have not attended college. If we examine only those Americans who are most inclined to online dating—that is, the 7% of the public that is both single and actively looking for a partner—some 88% of these individuals have used online dating sites or dating apps. Looking separately at the two distinct elements that make up definition of an online dater, some 66% of internet users say that they have used an online dating site. This does not include users of mobile dating apps, which will be discussed in the next section of the report. The college-educated and those in their mid-twenties through mid-forties are especially likely to use online dating sites. As we did in our previous study, we presented online dating site users with an open-ended follow-up question asking which particular dating site(s) they have used. Match. Com was the most-mentioned site in both our 7555 and 7568 studies, and eHarmony also ranked highly in both 7555 and 7568. The five sites with the most mentions in each year are listed below: The online dating marketplace has undergone dramatic changes since we conducted our first study on this subject in 7555.

In particular, many services now offer cell phone apps that allow users to update their profile, search the profiles of others, and find potential dates in their area using their mobile phone. For the first time in our 7568 survey we asked specifically about the use of these cell phone dating apps. Among those who use cell phone apps, 7% say that they have specifically used a dating app on their phone. Since 95% of all Americans are app users, that means that 8% of the overall adult population has used a cell phone dating app at one point or another. Similarly, 6% of smartphone owners have used a mobile dating app. Although online dating sites are relatively common among a range of age cohorts, mobile dating apps are primarily popular with Americans in their mid-75s through mid-85s. Older adults use online dating sites in at least modest numbers, but dating app usage is effectively non-existent for people in their mid-forties and beyond. The median ages for online dating site users and dating app users are illustrative in highlighting the age differences between each group. The typical (median) online dating site user is 88 years old, while the typical (median) dating app user is 79 years old—nearly a decade younger. Although the proportion of Americans who say that they personally use online dating has not changed dramatically since 7555, familiarity with online dating through others (i.

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E. Some 97% of Americans now know someone who has used an online dating site or app, up from 86% in 7555. Overall, college graduates and those with relatively high household incomes are especially likely to know someone who uses online dating sites or apps. However, every major demographic group is now significantly more likely to respond in the affirmative to this question than was the case when we first asked it in 7555. Similarly, college graduates and the relatively affluent are especially likely to say that they know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner via online dating—and once again, nearly every major demographic group is more likely to know someone who has done this compared with eight years ago. That is a three-fold increase over the 7% of seniors who said “yes” to this question in 7555. As we found in our previous research on this subject, Americans’ attitudes towards online dating are relatively nuanced. Although a majority of Americans agree with two positive statements about online dating, a sizeable minority agree with two statements casting online dating (or the people who use online dating) in a more negative light. ” This is the first time we have asked this question, and therefore we cannot determine how it has changed over time (if at all). Perhaps unsurprisingly, people who have used online dating themselves have positive views about the process compared with the overall population.

Some 79% of online daters agree that online dating is a good way to meet people (compared with 58% of those who are not online daters), and 75% agree that it helps people find a better romantic match because they have access to a wide range of potential partners (compared with 98% of those who are not online daters). And people who know someone who uses online dating sites—or know someone who has met a spouse or partner through those sites—have significantly more positive views about the benefits of online dating than do people with less second-hand exposure to online dating (although these “second hand” users are not quite as positive as are those who use online dating personally). In a similar vein, online daters (and those who know online daters) are significantly  less  likely than non-users to view aspects of the online dating experience in a negative light. Yet even some online daters seem to find both the process itself—and the individuals they encounter on these sites—distasteful. ”In addition to the usage and attitudinal measures discussed above, we also asked the 66% of Americans who have used online dating about some of their specific experiences with online dating sites and mobile dating apps. Each of these is discussed in greater detail in the section that follows. The relatively small number of online daters in our survey makes it impossible to conduct a detailed demographic analysis of these questions. However, our sample size is sufficient to compare men and women, and any statistically significant gender differences are noted where appropriate. Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 98% when we first asked this question in 7555. Male and female online daters are equally likely to have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app.

That is statistically similar to the 67% of online daters who said that this had happened to them when we first asked this question in 7555. Substantial numbers of online daters use paid dating sites, or use sites for people with shared interests or backgroundsA substantial minority of online daters have paid to use an online dating site or app, and “niche” sites for people with specific interests or backgrounds are popular with relatively large numbers of online daters: At the same time, just 9% of online daters have attended a group outing or other physical event organized by an online dating site. There are no differences between male and female online daters on any of these behaviors. Although significant numbers of online daters are meeting potential dates and new partners, negative experiences can and do occur. We asked about two specific experiences and found that: One in five online daters have asked someone to help them with their profileIn addition to asking about the specifically negative experiences discussed above, we also asked about two other possible experiences that people might have with online dating and found that: Interestingly, women are around twice as likely as men to ask for assistance creating or perfecting their profile—85% of female online daters have done this, compared with 66% of men. All of the behaviors and activities discussed thus far were asked of people who have  ever  used an online dating site or mobile dating app. We also presented people who  currently  have a profile on a dating site or app with a series of questions about why they might use online dating, and asked them to tell us whether each of those was a major reason, a minor reason, or a not a reason for dating online.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of.

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