One in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or a mobile dating app.
We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters,” and we define them in the following way: Taken together, 11% of all American adults have done one or both of these activities and are classified as “online daters.” In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.
Paid dating sites, and sites for people who are seeking partners with specific characteristics are popular with relatively large numbers of online daters: Organized outings are much less common, as just 4% of online daters have attended a group outing or other physical event organized by an online dating site.
Additionally, 22% of online daters have asked someone to help them create or review their profile.
And 38% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.
Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites.
Women are around twice as likely as men to ask for assistance creating or perfecting their profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.
Moving beyond dates, one quarter of online daters (23%) say that they themselves have entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app.
And more seriously, 28% of online daters have been contacted by someone through an online dating site or app in a way that made them feel harassed or uncomfortable.
Women are much more likely than men to have experienced uncomfortable contact via online dating sites or apps: some 42% of female online daters have experienced this type of contact at one point or another, compared with 17% of men.
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One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.
At the same time, the proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled in the last eight years.