Three-in-ten U.S. adults say they have ever used a dating app or site, but usage differs sharply by marital status.
U.S. adults who have never been married or who live with a partner are the most likely to say they have ever used an online dating service: 52% and 46%, respectively, say this. By comparison, 36% of Americans who are divorced, separated or widowed say they have ever used a dating site or app, while 16% of married adults say the same, according to a new analysis of a Pew Research Center survey conducted in July 2022.
Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand how Americans’ experiences with dating sites and apps vary by marital status. This survey was conducted among 6,034 U.S. adults from July 5-17, 2022. This included 4,996 respondents from the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. It also included an oversample of 1,038 respondents from Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel who indicated that they are lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB), with oversampled groups weighted back to reflect proportions in the population. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race and ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology.
Here are the questions used for this analysis, along with responses, and its methodology.
There has been no change since 2019 in the overall share of adults who say they have ever used a dating site or app, nor has there been any significant change by marital status group. For example, both in 2019 and in the most recent survey, 52% of never-married adults say they have ever used a dating site or app.
Among never-married Americans, younger adults are more likely than older ones to have used online dating services: 59% of never-married adults under 50 say they have ever used a dating platform, compared with 22% of those ages 50 and older.
Although married adults are the least likely group to have ever used a dating site or app, younger adults in this group are more likely than older ones to have done so. About a quarter (26%) of married adults under 50 say they have used an online dating platform, compared with just 8% of married adults ages 50 and older.
A majority of never-married users of online dating platforms have recently used one of these services, including those who were currently doing so as of the July 2022 survey. Three-in-ten online daters who have never been married (30%) – which translates to 16% of all never-married U.S. adults – said in the 2022 survey that they were currently using a dating site or app. An additional 27% said they were not currently using an online dating service but had done so in the past year. About four-in-ten online daters who have never been married said that the last time they used a dating site or app was either between one and five years ago or more than five years ago.
As one might expect, relatively few Americans who are married or living with a partner indicated in the July 2022 survey that they were currently active on dating platforms. Still, among U.S. adults who say they have ever used an online dating platform, 3% of both cohabitating and married people said they were currently using one of these services – a share that translates to 1% of all married and cohabitating adults in the United States.
Note: This is an update of a post originally published Feb. 18, 2016, and last updated March 24, 2020. Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.