Notably, Americans ages 65 and older are now twice as likely to know someone who uses online dating than they were in 2005 (24% of seniors now know an online dater, compared with 13% who did so eight years ago).
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.
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.
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 2005.
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.
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.
Some 42% of Americans now know someone who has used an online dating site or app, up from 31% in 2005.
And twice as many people now know someone who has entered into a marriage or long-term relationship after meeting through an online dating site or app—29% of Americans now know someone who met their partner this way, compared with just 15% in 2005.
Since 85% of the population now goes online, that means that one out of every ten Americans (9%) has used an online dating site at one point or another.
The college-educated and those in their mid-twenties through mid-forties are especially likely to use online dating sites.