Online Dating Trends: A Look At The Popularity Of Muslim Dating

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"The growth in Google searches for Muslim dating [in the UK] has surged far ahead of other ethno-cultural dating searches with an astonishing 81% YoY growth," reports the Google Barometer Blog.

This increased interest in Muslim dating reflects a strong demographic trend followed by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS). From 2004-2008, according to ONS data, "the total number of British Muslims increased ten times faster than the overall population." The Muslim population of Britain rose to over 2.4 million in 2008, making Islam the country's second largest religion, and is younger than the overall population (more than 1.6 million people under the age of 35). As a result of the growing population and the advantageous age profile, online dating for Muslims in the UK is expected to flourish.

One of the greatest success stories in the thriving Muslim dating market is SingleMuslim.com. As more and more singles search Google for dating sites with particular themes, sites targeting daters with specific interests and backgrounds are booming. SingleMuslim.com, a British-based company that has over 500,000 registered members across the globe, has become one of the most popular brands. According to data provided by the site, "roughly half of its online audience is composed uniquely of British Muslims, who provide over 20,000 unique visits and 500 new users registered each day."

"Given demographic trends and search data, the market for online dating for Muslim individuals is set to take off and become increasingly mainstream," say Bickey Russell and Elizabeth Song. A July 2010 poll of more than 3,600 SingleMuslim.com users "found that religious compatibility was ranked as the most important dating criteria by 33% of Muslim singles, ahead of appearance or education level," a strong indication that the popularity of Muslim dating sites will continue to rise.

If you're interested in exploring Muslim dating further, check out these other sites:

1) MuslimFriends.com - MuslimFriends has been in the business for 9 years, and calls itself "the premiere matrimonial and personals site for Muslim singles in the USA, Canada, UK and other developed countries." Joining is free, but paid membership options are available.

2) Muslima.com - Muslima caters to marriage-minded Muslim singles. It is free to join, and free members can contact paid members, but paid memberships allow offer upgraded features like sending instant messages and using video mail. For more on this dating site, read our review of Muslima.com.

3) Qiran.com - Qiran has been matchmaking since 2004. Once again, a paid membership option is available, that includes features like e-cards and live chat, in addition to a free standard membership.