While 48% of 18- to 29-year-olds say have ever used a dating site or app, the share is 38% among those ages 30 to 49 and even lower for those 50 and older (16%)
In the more than two decades since the launch of commercial dating sites such as Match, online dating has evolved into a multibillion-dollar industry serving customers around the world. A new Pew Research Center study explores how dating sites and apps have transformed the way Americans meet and develop relationships, and how the users of these services feel about online dating.
Here are 10 facts from the study, which is based on a survey conducted among 4,860 U.S. adults in :
This includes those who took part as members of Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses, as well as respondents from the Ipsos KnowledgePanel who indicated that they identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB)
1 Three-in-ten U.S. adults say they have ever used a dating site or app, but this varies significantly by age and sexual orientation. At the same time, personal experiences with online dating greatly differ by sexual orientation. Lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) adults are roughly twice as likely as those who are straight to say they ever used a dating platform (55% vs. 28%).
2 A small share of Americans say they have been in a committed relationship with or married someone they met through a dating site or app. About one-in-ten U.S. adults say this (12%), though these shares are higher among LGB adults, as well as those ages 18 to 49.
Pew Research Center has long studied the changing nature of romantic relationships and the role of digital technology in how people meet potential partners and navigate web-based dating platforms. This particular report focuses on the patterns, experiences and attitudes related to online dating in America. These findings are based on a survey conducted ong 4,860 U.S. adults. The ple is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.
Recruiting ATP panelists by phone or mail ensures that nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. This gives us confidence that any sample can represent the whole U.S. adult population (see our Methods 101 explainer on random sampling). To further ensure that each ATP survey reflects a balanced cross-section of the nation, the data are weighted to match the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.
For more, see the report's methodology about the project. You can also find the questions asked, and the answers the public provided, in this topline.
3 Roughly six-in-ten online daters (57%) say they have had an overall positive experience with these platforms, including 14% who describe their experience as very positive and 43% who say it was somewhat positive. Fewer users – though still about four-in-ten – describe their online dating experience as at least somewhat negative, including 9% who describe it as very negative.
People's assessments of their online dating experiences vary widely by socioeconomic factors. Around six-in-ten online daters with a bachelor's or advanced degree (63%) say their experience has been very or somewhat positive, compared with 47% among those who have a high school diploma or less. The ratings online daters give their overall experience do not vary statistically by gender or race and ethnicity.
4 While online daters generally say their overall experience was positive, they also point out some of the downsides of online dating. By a wide ericans who have used a dating site or app in the past year say their recent experience left them feeling more frustrated (45%) than hopeful (28%).