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Nonetheless, attitudes towards online dating have progressed in a clearly positive direction in the eight years since our previous study: Additionally, one-third of internet users (32%) agree with the statement that “online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.” 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.
Looking separately at the two distinct elements that make up definition of an online dater, some 11% 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.
In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.
Some 22% of 25-34 year olds, and 17% of 35-44 year olds are online daters—that is roughly double the rate for those ages 18-24 or those ages 45-54.
Similarly, 6% of smartphone owners have used a mobile dating app.
Some are currently in long-standing relationships that predate the adoption of online dating, while others are single but not actively looking for a romantic partner.
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 38% of these individuals have used online dating sites or dating apps.
The typical (median) online dating site user is 38 years old, while the typical (median) dating app user is 29 years old—nearly a decade younger.
Although the proportion of Americans who say that they personally use online dating has not changed dramatically since 2005, familiarity with online dating through others (i.e., knowing someone who uses online dating, or knowing someone who has entered into a relationship via online dating) has increased significantly over that time.
has become steadily more prevalent in recent years.