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It doesn’t take a data scientist to know that online dating is a booming industry. For the past few decades — essentially since the advent of the internet as we know it — people have been meeting online for dating, hookups, and marriage. Many sites have been tracking and recording online dating data from the beginning. Dating site statistics enable sites to improve the user experience and better match members with those who are compatible with their specific needs.
Before the first dating site was launched in 1995, people were bonding in chatrooms (remember those?!?). These early pioneers set the stage for what, today, is a $10 billion industry with over 300 million people using dating apps across the world. Those are some impressive numbers, right? In the past, when someone would comfort a lonely single with the adage “there’s plenty of fish in the sea,” they were really talking about their geolocation and social circles — these days, you can literally dive into the digital sea and connect with hundreds or thousands of like-minded individuals from across the planet.
The digital age has turned a lot of our world on its head, and it’s no surprise that the way we date and find love is one of them. In the past, people would romanticize the idea of a meet-cute and, more often, would get set up through friends or family or meet someone through their work or social communities. With many interactions left to chance, the dating pool was much smaller than it is today.
The ubiquity of internet access in our modern life has made online dating exceptionally common at this point. With a smartphone in most Americans’ pockets, people can date in almost any setting — on the train to work, during a boring work meeting, or even in bed at night. You can arrive in a new city, turn on a dating app, and have access to a massive pool of singles within instances.
In this post, we are going to dive into a number of different statistics, facts, and trends that we’ve recognized over the past year. Some may surprise you!
Reviewing the Numbers: What Dating App Statistics Can Tell Us & Why They Matter
Are you on the fence about online dating? Wondering what a dating site membership will give you access to? Some cold, hard numbers don’t really exude romance, but we think it’s important to look at the data if you are trying to make a decision about where to take your dating life from here. Everyone using a dating app is looking for some sort of connection, whether it be a casual fling or someone looking for their forever partner.
The numbers don’t lie: at Zoosk, we use them to get a macro view of what’s happening in the world of online dating and use that info to help our users achieve their wants, needs, and goals.
For you, this data can give you a point of reference as you navigate the world of online dating. With data, you can figure out how many people total are actively seeking dates in your area, which could help you decide which radius to use when looking for potential matches. It can also tell you about when and how to most effectively use the dating service, such as the best times to be online, the most compelling bios, and more.
In this digital age, every online action adds another point to the mountain of data we are generating. Every swipe, tap, like, and message shapes the dataset and tells a story that we can dive deeper and deeper into as the human race continues to generate so much important information. We have the ability to understand dating, romance, and love in a quantifiable way like never before, which will help shape the future of dating, love, and connection forever.
An Overview Of Current Online Dating Data & Trends
Let’s explore a few different aspects of online dating trends and data, broken out into a few different distinct categories. Though not every one of these categories may catch your interest, they’re worth scrolling through — they’ll give you a clearer picture of what the overall world of online dating looks like in 2023 and can give us some hints about what the future may hold.
According to data gathered by Pew Research, 30% of U.S. adults have used a dating site or app, which equates to over 100 million people. 34% of American males have used online dating, while 27% of American women have. Users between the ages of 18-29 are the most likely to adopt online dating, with more than half of this group reporting having used online dating apps or websites before. On the other end of the spectrum, only 13% of Americans over the age of 65 have used online dating.
One data point that stood out was the stark difference between straight and LBGTQ usage: while 51% of LGBTQ Americans of all ages have reported using dating apps, only 28% of straight Americans have — nearly twice as many as straight Americans. What does this difference tell us? One prevalent reason that the LGBTQ community is so drawn to digital dating is the fact that only 4.5% of the U.S. population reports as LGBTQ, and when dispersed across such a large country in such small numbers, it can be difficult to seek out queer spaces or communities — especially in rural or suburban environments. Online dating has helped LGBTQ users meet potential partners who may be struggling with visibility or simply exist outside of the LGBTQ space.
There is a nearly equal percentage of white, black, and Hispanic populations using dating apps and platforms, with between 28-31% of each community reporting that they have used one.
One of the greatest things the internet has done is to connect people from every corner of the globe, transmitting ideas and beliefs that, in the past, didn’t reach far past the edge of the geographic boundary. In the world of online romance, people from across the ocean can connect on mutual interests and passions as easily as two people who live in the same urban neighborhood can — although one of these two couples will have a bit more of a difficult time meeting in real life!
There is a higher concentration of online daters in urban settings, which could be due to a number of different factors. Things like a higher likelihood of technology adaption and integration, greater populations of singles, or a number of other potential differentiators.
That said, rural areas are seeing an uptick in dating app adoption, which could be great news for many singles who are missing out on the large dating pool in cities.
Geography and culture are often closely linked, and cultural norms often dictate regional usage for online dating platforms. In Saudi Arabia, the favored apps are anonymous and super private. In Western countries, users prefer the ability to quickly review a lot of information about someone else from their profile before even making initial contact.
There isn’t much concrete data about conversational patterns in dating apps since this is a private communication, but there are surveys out there about peoples’ conversation preferences, green flags, or red flags. Here are some key takeaways based on a survey of around 2,000 people about their opinions about dating app conversations.
Would you be surprised to learn that 70% of dating app users surveyed believe that it is possible for people to fall in love just through messaging on a dating app? Texts, DMs, and other text-based messaging have become the default for most communication in the modern world, so even though we were surprised by this statistic at first, it makes sense when you think about it. For a lot of people, especially those with social anxiety, messaging is a great way to take a few extra moments to think out what to say instead of feeling like they are on the spot.
68% will pass on an attractive person who has poor grammar, spelling, or punctuation on their profile or while they are messaging. It’s important that people see you take the time to pay attention to detail and are focused on giving your best effort. If you can’t be bothered to spell check, many people wonder what else you won’t take the extra time to do in real life. Is it fair? Not necessarily, but that’s the data-driven truth of the matter. We suggest downloading a browser extension like Grammarly that can run grammar and spell-check as you type in your browser, making this a simple fix that will increase your chances of keeping the conversation going.
38% of respondents claimed that they message every match they got, and the same percentage said they messaged some. In this survey, 1% of respondents said they messaged NONE of them. Come on!!! Don’t be that 1%!
A U.S.-based research group, Statistic Brain, shared some pretty interesting findings on profile preferences based on data. One of the biggest standouts was that people spend as much space as possible trying to cram LOTS of information about themselves into their bios. They found that the ideal profile is 70% about the user, and 30% is dedicated to what they are looking for in a partner. Keeping this rule in mind, you can talk about an interest and then, at the end of that snippet, talk about how you would like your partner to engage in this interest with you.
Another major takeaway from their study was that people are attracted — unsurprisingly — to bios that show emotion and some vulnerability. If your bio reads like a resume or a pitch for why you are the best candidate for a new, high-powered position, people might feel like your profile is cold and uninspiring. Focusing on the things that really get you excited, like your favorite music, your love of cooking, or your close relationship with your family, are all things that show warmth and emotional availability — big pluses for people looking for partners.
Here’s a tidbit that you can run with another survey found that the most successful profiles use the word “love” in their profiles, along with words like “heart,” “romantic,” and “relationship.” In the survey, women who used the word “relationship” in their profiles were 16% more likely to find one! Words like “travel,” “shop,” for women, and “hang” or “humor” for men were indicators that the user would have a lower chance of finding a relationship. We’ll let you come to your own conclusions on why this is!
Seasonal Dating Fluctuations
Have you ever heard of the term “cuffing season?” It’s a recognized phenomenon where, as the days get shorter and the nights get colder, people feel the pull of entering a romantic relationship. There’s just something about getting into a cold bed on a winter night that must shine a light on being single. One study found that searches for keywords related to sex and partnering reached a peak over winter. There is other data that shows seasonal increases in searches for terms like “dating site” and a spike in registration for online dating apps and sites during the colder months, as well.
In the summer, people have warmer days, time with friends, and travel to look forward to, but when the sun sets early, and you are hanging out in your living room alone, there is no surprise that people fire up their dating profiles and see who is out there that might be a great snuggling partner.
It Isn’t Just About the Numbers!
One final thought after this deep dive into some dating site statistics is that there is a whole other side to this that is much more subjective. When you connect with someone online who is a great match, it might just “click” whether or not all of these data align with the situation. You may find that special someone who spends 85% of their profile talking about themselves during a heatwave in August without having ever used the word “love” in your profile — and you may have the “perfect” data-driven approach to online dating without much success for a while.
Online dating is, in many ways, a game of numbers. With so many people online, you might need to weed through some stinkers to find a great fit. One way to improve your chances of finding a partner is by using Zoosk’s SmartPick™, where we connect users based on a number of different factors that we think — and our results show — will lead to a compatible match.
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