This paper presents the results of a United States-wide survey of dating and relationships in the digital era.
One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app; 66% of these online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app, and 23% have met a spouse or long term partner through these sites. Public attitudes toward online dating have become more positive in recent years, but many users also report negative experiences.
These are among the results of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era, the first dedicated study of this subject by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project since 2005. Key findings include:
- 11% of internet users (representing 9% of all American adults) say that they have personally used an online dating site. As recently as 2008, just 3% of American adults had used online dating sites.
- 7% of cell phone apps users (representing 3% of all American adults) say that they have used a dating app on their cell phone.
Taken together, 11% of all American adults are “online daters”—meaning they have used a dating site or mobile dating app. Online dating is especially common among the college-educated and those in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s, and 38% of Americans who are currently single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.
About the survey
This report is based on the findings of a survey on Americans' use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May 19, 2013, among a sample of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,125) and cell phone (1,127, including 571 without a landline phone). For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. For results based on Internet users (n=1,895), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.