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5 Facts About Online Dating From Pew Research Center

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When Pew Research Center first studied online dating in 2005, few Americans had ventured into that uncharted territory. More than a decade later, digital technology - especially smartphones - has drastically transformed all aspects of our society, including our love lives. Today 15% of American adults say they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.

Pew Research Center continues to produce some of the most comprehensive and interesting data on online dating, most recently with the release of five facts about online dating in 2016:

  1. Online dating has lost much of the stigma that once plagued it. In 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating. It was viewed as a poor way to meet people and those who used it were considered desperate. These days, nearly half of the public knows someone who has met a partner using a dating service. Attitudes have shifted significantly, making it much more culturally acceptable to find a romantic partner online. Nearly half of US adults agree that online dating is a good way to meet people.
  2. Online dating is increasingly popular with singles under 25, as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s. Between 2013 and today, the share of 18- to 24-year olds who use online dating has roughly tripled from 10% to 27%. Usage amongst 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially. Only 6% of adults in that age bracket reported using dating services in 2013. Today that number is 12%.
  3. One-third of people who have tried online dating have never actually gone on a date with someone they met using those services. Two thirds (66%) of online daters told Pew Research Center that they’ve gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app. That’s a large increase from the 43% percent who answered the same in 2005, but it still means that one-third of online daters have never turned their online activities into offline romance.
  4. One-in-five online daters have sought help with their profile. Online daters recruit friends to help them put their best digital foot forward. Around 22% have asked someone to review or help create their profile. Women are especially likely to seek outside advice - 30% of female online daters have done this, compared to 16% of men.
  5. 5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online. Online dating plays a larger role in modern romance than ever before, but the vast majority of relationships still begin offline. Even newer relationships are more likely to start in traditional ways. Eighty-eight percent of Americans who have been with their partner for five years or less say they met their partner without the help of a dating site.

For more statistics from Pew Research Center, click here. For our own information on the subject you can visit our Dating Statistics and Facts page.