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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.
Although online dating sites are relatively common among a range of age cohorts, mobile dating apps are primarily popular with Americans in their mid-20s through mid-30s.
One out of every ten 25-34 year olds (11%) has used a dating app—that is double the rate for those ages 18-24 (5% of whom have used dating apps) and for those ages 35-44 (4%).
As we found in our previous research on this subject, Americans’ attitudes towards online dating are relatively nuanced.
Although a majority of Americans agree with two positive statements about online dating, a sizeable minority agree with two statements casting online dating (or the people who use online dating) in a more negative light.
For the first time in our 2013 survey we asked specifically about the use of these cell phone dating apps.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, people who have used online dating themselves have positive views about the process compared with the overall population.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.Urban and suburban residents are more likely than rural residents to use online dating, and those who have attended college are around twice as likely to do so as are those who have not attended college.Of course, only a portion of the population is in the market for a relationship at any given time.