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Although the proportion of Americans who say that they personally use online dating has not changed dramatically since 2005, familiarity with online dating through others (i.e., knowing someone who uses online dating, or knowing someone who has entered into a relationship via online dating) has increased significantly over that time.Some 42% of Americans now know someone who has used an online dating site or app, up from 31% in 2005.That is a three-fold increase over the 7% of seniors who said “yes” to this question in 2005.As we found in our previous research on this subject, Americans’ attitudes towards online dating are relatively nuanced.
Some are currently in long-standing relationships that predate the adoption of online dating, while others are single but not actively looking for a romantic partner.
In 2008 just 3% of all Americans said that they had used an online dating site; by 2009 that figure had risen to 6% of all Americans, and today 9% of the adult population has used an online dating site.
In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.
However, every major demographic group is now significantly more likely to respond in the affirmative to this question than was the case when we first asked it in 2005.
Notably, Americans ages 65 and older are now twice as likely to know someone who uses online dating than they were in 2005 (24% of seniors now know an online dater, compared with 13% who did so eight years ago).