The dating industry is booming as people turn to technology to find romantic connections. There are a plethora of dating apps and sites that those looking for love can choose from, depending on gender, sexual orientation, and whether they are searching for hook ups or long-term partners – there is something for everyone when it comes to dating online. As technology impacts almost everything else, users in the U.S. are willing to let technology help them in their love life – but are U.S. singles wanting to pay for this?
About half of adults under 30 have used a dating site or app
Three-in-ten Americans say they have ever used a dating site or dating app, which is identical to the share who said this in 2019.
However, there are wide differences by age. For example, adults under 30 are far more likely than older adults to have ever used one of these sites or apps. The current survey finds that 53% of adults ages 18 to 29 say they have done so, compared with 37% of those ages 30 to 49. Smaller shares of those ages 50 to 64 (20%) and 65 and older (13%) say the same.
These shares also vary widely by sexual orientation: 51% of lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) Americans say they have ever used a dating site or app, compared with 28% of those who are straight.
Men are also more likely than women to have ever used a dating site or app, as are adults living in urban areas versus those from rural or suburban areas. In contrast, similar shares of White, Black, Hispanic or Asian adults report ever using an online dating platform.
As in previous Center studies, those who have never been married are more likely than those who are married to have experience with online dating. Some 52% of those who describe themselves as never having been married have used dating sites or apps at some point; this is greater than the shares of those who describe themselves as married or divorced, separated or widowed who say the same.
Online dating users who are under 30 or LGB are particularly likely to say they’ve been on a dating site or app in the last year
Among those who have ever used a dating site or app, 15% are current online dating users while another 16% are not currently using these platforms but have done so in the past year, according to the July survey.
As is the case with those who have ever used these platforms, there are demographic differences among online dating users in recency of use. Online dating users ages 18 to 29 are particularly likely to have been active on these platforms within the past year compared with their older counterparts, as are LGB users compared with straight users.
While there are no racial or ethnic differences in having ever used dating sites or apps, Hispanic online dating users are more likely than White or Black online dating users to be a current or recent user of these platforms.
What about those who are actively looking for connection? About one-in-ten Americans (13%) are “single and looking” – that is, they are looking for casual dates or a committed romantic relationship (and are not married, living with a partner or in a committed romantic relationship). Of this group, 45% have used a dating site or app within the past year, including 28% who were currently using one at the time of the July 2022 survey. These shares are statistically unchanged from 2019.
The shares of “single and looking” Americans who are current or recent online dating users vary by gender and age. Among this group, men are more likely than women to have used a dating site or app in the past year (50% vs. 37%). About half of adults under 50 who are single and looking (53%) are using a dating site or app currently or have in the past year. This is roughly twice the share of single and looking adults ages 50 and older who are current or recent online daters (26%).
Just 3% of those who are single but not currently looking for either casual dates or a committed romantic relationship are currently using a dating site or app. And 62% say they have never used one.
Adults under 30 are roughly five times more likely than older adults to have ever used Tinder
With over a thousand online dating platforms available, adults who want to find matches online have a variety of sites and apps to choose from. This survey asked specifically about eight dating apps and sites and allowed people to provide the names of other platforms they have used.
Among Americans overall, Tinder leads the pack: 14% of U.S. adults say they have ever used this. Next is Match (with 9% of adults having ever used this), followed by Bumble (8%), OkCupid (6%), eharmony (6%), Hinge (6%), Grindr (2%) and HER (1%).