Throughout human history, people have sought assistance from others in meeting romantic partners – and Americans today are increasingly looking for love online by enlisting the services of online dating sites and a new generation of mobile dating apps.
Meanwhile, the share of 55- to 64-year-olds who use online dating has doubled over the same time period (from 6% in 2013 to 12% in 2015).
For young adults in particular, this overall increase in online dating usage has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in the use of mobile dating apps.
Fully 22% of 18- to 24-year-olds now report using mobile dating apps, a more than fourfold increase from the 5% who reported using dating apps in 2013.
These young adults are now more likely than any other age group to use mobile dating apps.
Overall, men and women who have used online dating tend to have similar views of the pros and cons – with one major exception relating to personal safety.
Some 53% of women who have used online dating agree that it is more dangerous than other ways of meeting people, substantially higher than the 38% of male online daters who agree with this statement.
Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.
Few Americans had online dating experience when Pew Research Center first polled on the activity in 2005, but today 15% of U. adults report they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.
Although 15% of Americans have used online dating themselves, a larger share report that they are familiar with online dating from the experiences of people they know.
Some 41% of American adults say they know someone who uses online dating, while 29% indicate they know someone who has married or entered into a long-term partnership with someone they met via online dating.
As was the case in previous Pew Research Center surveys of online dating, college graduates and the relatively affluent are especially likely to know people who use online dating or to know people who have entered into a relationship that began online.