Online Dating Statistics [2022]: Where Do Couples Meet?

In this article, we’ve gathered all the online dating statistics and found where couples meet, how many people use dating apps, the pros and cons, and more.

online dating statistics

Online dating has been around for a while and has exploded in popularity with location-based apps like Tinder and Bumble. This growth in popularity has also led to a significant increase in revenue for some online dating companies, while other older websites struggle to keep up with new apps.

In this article, we’ve gathered all the stats about the online dating industry, how many people use dating apps, the pros and cons, and more.

Top Online Dating Statistics You Should Know:

  • 323 million people worldwide used dating apps or online dating sites to meet new people in 2021.
  • Dating app revenues reached $5.61 billion in 2021 and have increased every year since 2015. 
  • 67% of Tinder users are men; 33% are women.
  • 30% of US adults have used a dating site or app.
  • 11% of American adults have spent money on online dating.
  • 55% of US online dating users are aged 55 or older.
  • 27% of US adults aged 18-34 use dating apps to have casual sex.
  • Women are 5 times more likely than men to think they were sent too many messages (30% vs. 6%).
  • 53% of Americans say dating sites and apps are a very or somewhat safe way to meet people.
  • 1 in 6 marriages begins online.
  • Couples that have met on eHarmony have a divorce rate of 3.86%.
  • 46% of women said they received an explicit message or image they didn’t ask for, compared to 26% of male users.
  • 56% of LGB users on dating apps have been sent unsolicited explicit messages or images.

How Common Is Online Dating?

Online dating has become increasingly more common, especially among younger generations. These stats show that downloads have more than doubled in the last 5 years, and the revenue of dating app companies has grown even more:

  • 323 million people worldwide used dating apps or online dating sites to meet new people in 2021. (Business of Apps, 2022)1
  • Dating app revenues reached $5.61 billion in 2021 and have increased every year since 2015. Here’s the revenue growth of dating apps by year: (Business of Apps, 2022)1
    • 2015: $1.38 billion
    • 2016: $1.46 billion
    • 2017: $1.75 billion
    • 2018: $2.38 billion
    • 2019: $2.97 billion
    • 2020: $3.82 billion
    • 2021: $5.61 billion
  • Dating app user growth from 2015 to 2021 globally: (Business of Apps, 2022)1
    • 2015: 198.6 million
    • 2016: 217.5 million
    • 2017: 240.9 million
    • 2018: 250.5 million
    • 2019: 283.5 million
    • 2020: 293.7 million
    • 2021: 323.9 million
  • Global dating app download growth from 2015 to 2021: (Business of Apps, 2022)1
    • 2015: 168 million
    • 2016: 191.5 million
    • 2017: 208.6 million
    • 2018: 246.9 million
    • 2019: 287.4 million
    • 2020: 287 million
    • 2021: 260.7 million

Most Used Online Dating Apps Globally

There are just a few apps worldwide that have dominated the app-based dating scene. Most of these apps match users based on mutual interest, and many people use multiple apps to find potential dates. Here are the most popular apps: (Business of Apps, 2022)1

  • Tinder
    • Tinder is the biggest app owned by Match Group, the parent company that owns several dating apps on this list. Tinder was unique when it came onto the dating scene and fundamentally changed online dating by removing the seriousness and giving users more control.

  • Bumble
    • Bumble is Tinder’s biggest rival in North America and was designed to give women more control of the dating experience by only letting men respond to women who message first. Bumble was initially created by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd.

  • Hinge
    • Hinge is another rival to Tinder and Bumble, which focuses more on building long-term relationships instead of quick hookups. Match Group also owns a majority share in Hinge.

  • Badoo
    • Badoo was created before Tinder and Bumble as a social search, games, and quiz app. It transitioned in 2013 to focus on dating.

  • Happn
    • Happn has a different matching system than other popular platforms. Instead of using a general location to find matches, Happn matches users with people they may have seen recently in person.

  • Grindr
    • Grindr was the first app to be specifically for LGBTQ people and was initially created for gay men. It continues to be the most popular app for LGBTQ people worldwide.

  • Tantan
    • Tantan is one of the bigger dating apps in China, despite casual dating not being as popular in China as it is in the West. Tantan is the first location-based dating app to break through to general audiences in China and is used by millions.

  • Plenty of Fish
    • Plenty of Fish has been around in the traditional web-based online dating scene since 2003 and is one of the few platforms to transition to mobile successfully.

Online Dating Statistics in the US

Online dating in the US is undoubtedly growing, according to these statistics. A surprising number of online dates happen in older generations, and by far, the most popular dating app/site is Tinder. Here are the most important online dating statistics in the US:

  • Number of Dating Prospects at the Same Time
    • Percentage of people with multiple dating prospects: (Healthy Framework, n.d.)2
      • 0: 8%
      • 1: 11%
      • 2-3: 23%
      • 4-5: 25%
      • 6-10: 13%
      • 11+: 19%
  • Men vs. Women on Choosing a Dating Site (Healthy Framework, n.d.)2
    • 67% of Tinder users are men; 33% are women.
    • An equal number of men and women claim Match.com as their favorite dating app.
    • More women claim eHarmony as their favorite dating app than men.

  • Preferred Online Dating Site by Age Group (Healthy Framework, n.d.)2
    • No site at all:
      • 18-29 years: 47%
      • 30-44 years: 59%
      • 45-54 years: 75%
      • 55-64 years: 79%
      • 65+ years: 80%
    • eHarmony:
      • 18-29 years: 4%
      • 30-44 years: 5%
      • 45-54 years: 3%
      • 55-64 years: 5%
      • 65+ years: 4%
    • Any Religious Dating Site:
      • 18-29 years: 2%
      • 30-44 years: 2%
      • 45-54 years: 4%
      • 55-64 years: 3%
      • 65+ years: 4%
    • Match.com:
      • 18-29 years: 7%
      • 30-44 years: 9%
      • 45-54 years: 7%
      • 55-64 years: 7%
      • 65+ years: 2%
    • Plenty of Fish:
      • 18-29 years: 8%
      • 30-44 years: 7%
      • 45-54 years: 4%
      • 55-64 years: 1%
      • 65+ years: 1%
    • OkCupid:
      • 18-29 years: 6%
      • 30-44 years: 4%
      • 45-54 years: 2%
      • 55-64 years: 1%
      • 65+ years: 1%
    • Grindr:
      • 18-29 years: 3%
      • 30-44 years: 2%
      • 45-54 years: 0%
      • 55-64 years: 2%
      • 65+ years: 0%
    • Tinder: 
      • 18-29 years: 14%
      • 30-44 years: 5%
      • 45-54 years: 1%
      • 55-64 years: 1%
      • 65+ years: 0%
    • Bumble: 
      • 18-29 years: 3%
      • 30-44 years: 2%
      • 45-54 years: 1%
      • 55-64 years: 1%
      • 65+ years: 0%
    • Coffee Meets Bagel:
      • 18-29 years: 3%
      • 30-44 years: 3%
      • 45-54 years: 1%
      • 55-64 years: 0%
      • 65+ years: 0%
    • Hinge:
      • 18-29 years: 2%
      • 30-44 years: 1%
      • 45-54 years: 1%
      • 55-64 years: 0%
      • 65+ years: 0%
    • Happn:
      • 18-29 years: 1%
      • 30-44 years: 1%
      • 45-54 years: 0%
      • 55-64 years: 0%
      • 65+ years: 0%

  • When Do People Meet Their Matches in Person? 
    • Why people say they’ve met an online dating match in person: (Healthy Framework, n.d.)2
      • Men
        • A long-term romance: 25%
        • To go on 1+ date(s): 28%
        • Friendship: 10%
        • To Hookup: 20%
        • Have not met anyone: 17%
      • Women
        • A long-term romance: 21%
        • To go on 1+ date(s): 34%
        • Friendship: 9%
        • To Hookup: 8%
        • Have not met anyone: 24%
    • Percentage of daters who claim to tell the truth in their dating profile
      • Always: 60%
      • Often: 38%
      • Rarely: 2%
      • Never: 1%
  • Negative Encounters People Have With Online Dating: (Healthy Framework, n.d.)2
    • Contacted in a way that made them uncomfortable:
      • Male: 20%
      • Female: 32%
    • Fears about safety:
      • Male: 26%
      • Female: 32%
    • Needed to block or report someone:
      • Male: 23%
      • Female: 39%
    • Been catfished:
      • Male: 38%
      • Female: 30%
  • How Familiar Are People With Their Match Before Meeting in Person? (Healthy Framework, n.d.)2
    • Meet right away, no info: 29%
    • Meet after small talk: 23%
    • Share basic information (interests, work, etc.): 28%
    • Get to know very well on a personal level: 15%
    • Don’t meet people: 5%

  • Online Dating Market Size (Compare Camp, 2020)3
    • There are 30.4 million online dating users in the US as of 2019. This number is expected to grow to 35.4 million by 2024.
    • 30% of US adults have used a dating site or app.
    • 25.1 million people have used online dating apps on their smartphones.
    • 36% of millennials say that they’ve used an online dating service or app, making them the largest generation of online dating users.
    • College graduates and people with college-level education are more likely (35%) to use dating apps.
    • 11% of Hispanic Internet users in the US said they were very likely to use online dating to find a new partner.
    • 32% of women in America have used an online app or service for dating.
      • Only 23% of men have done the same.
    • 55% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults say that they’ve used online dating at least once.
    •  37% of single LGB people currently use online dating, of those who are looking for dates or relationships.
  • Online Dating Market Leaders (Compare Camp, 2020)3
    • The online dating industry is expected to grow past $1 billion by 2024, with a projected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.1%.
    • 11% of American adults have spent money on online dating.
    • In 2019, 35% of paying customers used Badoo, a dating-focused social network. Match, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Tinder each got a 28% share.
    • Tinder has a user base of 7.86 million people and sits at the top as the most popular online dating app.
    • Grindr has the highest sessions per month on average, with users averaging 295.37 sessions per month — by far, the most of any dating app. 
    • Grindr also leads the online dating industry in user engagement, where users spend an average of 935.8 minutes (15.58 hours) on the Grindr app each month.
    • Tinder reached 4.2% of the US mobile audience as of September 2019.

  • US Dating App Market Share in 2021 (Business of Apps, 2022)1
    • Tinder: 32%
    • Bumble: 22%
    • Hinge: 15%
    • Plenty of Fish: 14%
    • Grindr: 7%
    • Badoo: 6%
    • OkCupid: 4%
    • Match: 4%
    • Zook: 2%
  • Attitudes and Motivations of Online Dating Users
    • 55% of US online dating users are aged 55 or older.
    • 49% of online dating users in the US are looking for an exclusive romantic partner.
    • 27% of US adults aged 18-34 use dating apps to have casual sex.
    • 57% of online dating users say their personal experiences with dating sites or apps have been positive.
    • 75% of adults in the US who don’t use online dating also don’t see themselves using these apps in the future.
    • Other reasons why Americans use dating apps: (Compare Camp, 2020)3
      • To have something fun or interesting to do: 39%
      • To see what the app is like: 29%
      • To find a non-exclusive romantic partner: 20%
      • To boost my self-esteem: 19%
      • To make non-platonic, non-romantic connections: 19%
      • To cheat on my significant other: 7%

Facts About American and Online Dating

Online dating can be everything from casual to committed to frustrating. Here are some of the most interesting facts about online or app-based dating in the US:

  • 3 in 10 US adults say they have ever used a dating site or app, but this varies significantly by age and sexual orientation. Of those who have ever used a dating app: (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • 48% are 18- to 29-year-olds.
    • 38% are 30 to 49.
    • 16% are 50 and older.
    • Lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) adults are roughly twice as likely as those who are straight to say they ever used a dating platform (55% vs. 28%).
  • 12% of Americans say they have been in a committed relationship with or married someone they met through a dating site or app. (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • This percentage is higher among LGB adults and those ages 18 to 49.
  • 57% of online daters say they have had an overall positive experience with an online dating platform. (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • 14% describe their experience as very positive.
    • 43% say it was somewhat positive.
    • About 40% of users describe their online dating experience as at least somewhat negative.
      • 9% describe it as very negative.
    • 63% of online daters with a bachelor’s or advanced degree say their experience has been very or somewhat positive, compared with 47% of those with a high school diploma or less.

  • More Americans said their recent experience left them feeling more frustrated (45%) than hopeful (28%). (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • 35% of current or recent users say that in the past year, online dating has made them feel more pessimistic
    • 29% say these platforms left them feeling more optimistic.
    • 32% say online dating sites or apps made them feel more confident.
    • 25% said online dating made them feel more insecure.
  • The majority of people who use online dating apps find it easy to find potentially compatible partners. (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • 36% of women who have used dating sites or apps found it very or somewhat difficult to find people they were physically attracted to.
    • Compared to 21% of men who said they had found it very or somewhat difficult to find people they were physically attracted to.
    • 39% of women found it very or somewhat difficult to find someone they would want to meet in person, compared to 32% of men.
    • Male users are more likely than female users to say it was at least somewhat difficult to find people who shared their hobbies and interests (41% vs. 30%).

  • Women are more likely than men to categorize certain information as essential to see in other users’ profiles.
    • Here’s what men and women say  is very important that the profiles they looked at included the following: (Pew Research, 2019)4
      • Photos of themselves:
        • Men: 68%
        • Women: 74%
      • Type of relationship they’re looking for:
        • Men: 53%
        • Women: 72%
      • If they have children:
        • Men: 43%
        • Women: 48%
      • Hobbies and interests:
        • Men: 32%
        • Women: 40%
      • Religious beliefs:
        • Men: 18%
        • Women: 32%
      • Racial or ethnic background:
        • Men: 15%
        • Women: 23%
      • Occupation:
        • Men: 8%
        • Women: 27%
      • Height:
        • Men: 8%
        • Women: 22%
      • Political affiliation:
        • Men: 10%
        • Women: 18%

  • There are significant gender differences between how much attention online daters say they receive on these sites or apps. (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • 57% of men say they feel as if they did not get enough messages, while just 24% of women say the same.
    • Women are 5 times more likely than men to think they were sent too many messages (30% vs. 6%).
  • Younger women are far more likely to report having negative interactions on online dating platforms. (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • 37% said someone continued to contact them on a dating site or app after they said they were not interested 
    • 35% said someone sent them a sexually explicit message or image they didn’t ask for.
    • 28% said someone called them an offensive name.
    • 9%  say another user has threatened to harm them physically.
    • Compared to younger women:
    • Upwards of 60% of female users ages 18 to 34 say someone on a dating site or app continued to contact them after they said they were not interested, and 57% report that another user has sent them a sexually explicit message or image they didn’t ask for.
    • 44% report that someone called them an offensive name on a dating site or app, and 19% say they have had someone threaten to harm them physically.
  • 54% of Americans say relationships that begin on a dating site or app are just as successful as those that begin in person. (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • 40% say these kinds of relationships are less successful than relationships that begin in person.
    • 50% of Americans say online dating has had neither a positive nor negative effect on dating and relationships.
    • 22% say these platforms have had a mostly positive, and 26% say they had a mostly negative effect.

Is Online Dating Safe in the US?

Safety is one of the biggest concerns about online and app-based dating, especially among women. However, most people who use the apps consider them safe, while many who don’t use them think they’re unsafe. Here are the stats:

  • Americans have a wide variety of views about the safety of online dating. (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • 53% of Americans say dating sites and apps are a very or somewhat safe way to meet people, and 46% believe they are not too or not at all safe.
    • 71% of people who have used dating apps see online dating as a very or somewhat safe way to meet someone, compared to just 47% of those who have never used these platforms.
    • Women are far more likely than men to say dating sites, and apps are not a safe way to meet people (53% vs. 39%). (Pew Research, 2019)4
    • When people were asked about their fears of safety on dating apps: (Healthy Framework, n.d.)2
      • 18-29 years: 27% responded negatively
      • 30-44 years: 31% responded negatively
      • 45-54 years: 30% responded negatively
      • 55-64 years: 34% responded negatively

Success Stories in Online Dating

While dating apps may have their cons – they can still be a great way to meet people! According to these stats, marriages that start from online relationships are on the rise – and are set to continue to grow.

  • When asked if they know someone who has met a romantic partner on a dating website or app: (Statista, 2019)5
    • Yes, I have: 17%
    • Yes, someone I know has: 30%
    • No, neither I nor anyone I know has met a partner through a dating website/app: 40%
    • Don’t know: 13%
    • Prefer not to say: 4%
  • 71% of users say that it’s easy to find people they were physically attracted to when using dating apps.
  • 1 in 6 marriages begins online.
  • Couples that have met on eHarmony have a divorce rate of 3.86%.
  • 39% of online dating users say they’ve gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app.
  • 12% of Americans who’ve used dating sites or apps say they were in a committed relationship or married someone they met through online dating.
  • 21% of LGB American adults who’ve used these apps have gotten into a committed relationship or married someone they met through online dating.
  • 63% of online daters with a bachelor’s or advanced degree report a positive experience on these apps, compared with 47% of those with a high school diploma or less.
  • American adults’ overall experience with dating apps: (Compare Camp, 2020)3
    • Very negative: 9%
    • Somewhat negative: 33%
    • Somewhat positive: 43%
    • Very positive: 14%

What Are Some Downsides of Online Dating?

Dating online can definitely be beneficial, but it’s also got some downsides. Here are some of the biggest ones to consider: (Compare Camp, 2020)3

  • Many dating apps have had data breaches. One of the most recent data breaches involved the dating app Heyyo in 2019, which exposed the data of nearly 72,000 users.
  • 45% of American online dating users say that the experience has left them feeling frustrated.
  • 40% of women on these platforms said it’s difficult to find others looking for the same kind of relationship.
  • 38% of online dating users find it difficult to use online dating apps to meet other people looking for the same kind of relationship.
  • 61% of men who’ve used online dating in the past five years say that they don’t receive enough messages from the people they’re interested in.
  • Women are five times more likely to report receiving too many messages on dating sites.
  • 71% of people think it’s common for others to lie about themselves on dating apps. Women are 76% more likely to share this sentiment.

Gender-Related Harassment on Online Dating Apps

Women are, unfortunately, the target of frequent harassment on dating apps, according to this study:

  • 48% of women said they received continuous contact from someone after an explicit expression of disinterest, compared to just 27% of male users.
  • 46% of women said they received an explicit message or image they didn’t ask for, compared to 26% of male users.
  • 33% of women on dating apps have been called an offensive name.
  • 56% of LGB users on dating apps have been sent unsolicited explicit messages or images.
  • 48% of LGB people have faced unwanted contact from someone after expressing disinterest.
  • Reasons why people say they lie on online dating apps: (Compare Camp, 2020)3
    • For fun: 35%
    • Afraid of blackmail or fraud: 25%
    • To appear more interesting: 16%
    • Avoid being recognized by friends: 15%
    • Avoid being recognized by current partner: 5%

FAQs About Online Dating

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about online dating:

  • Does online dating work?
    • 35% of people who date online have had at least a six-month relationship, making online dating a great way to meet new people who could potentially become your partner. (Cloud Wards, 2022)6
  • What percentage of online daters get married?
    • 14% of online daters get married to someone they met on a dating site or app. (Bustle, 2017)7

  • What are people’s concerns while they are dating online? (Her Norm, 2022)8
    • 63%: My device being infected with malware, spyware, or ransomware via an online dating platform.
    • 62%: Meeting some with bad intentions offline (i.e., extortion, physical or psychological violence, etc.).
    • 61%: My data being stolen/leaked from the dating service/app itself.
    • 59%: Someone using the information I have shared to hack some of my accounts.
    • 59%: Someone using the information I have shared to track me down in real life.
    • 59%: Being unable to erase my data from the dating service/app completely after quitting the service.
    • 58%: Meeting someone who was not who they said they were (fake name, age, gender, etc.).
    • 58%: Someone using the information I have shared to track me down online.
    • 58%: Being defrauded by a website claiming to be an online dating site.
    • 57%: Someone using the information I have shared to blackmail me.
    • 57%: Someone using the information I have shared to damage my reputation at work.
    • 57%: Been a victim of fraud by helping someone out in an unfortunate situation by sending them money.
    • 56%: Been sent phishing emails claiming to be from an online dating site encouraging you to share personal information.
    • 56%: Someone using the information I have shared to damage my current relationships.
    • 56%: Being recognized by people I do not want to recognize me.
    • 55%: The “match” pretending to be a real person but being a bot.
    • 53%: Someone engaging me in a conversation that makes me feel uncomfortable (e.g., about sex, politics, religion. or illegal activity).
    • 47%: Being rejected by someone I would like to meet.

Conclusion

Online dating is becoming far more mainstream than ever before due to the wide adoption of location-based apps. As a result, the industry is set to grow significantly in the coming years, and it’s also a fairly effective way to connect with people who share similar interests!

They may have some downsides, especially for women and LGBTQ people, but they can still be a good opportunity for many.

For more interesting sex studies and statistics, head over to our guide here.

Footnotes

  1. Business of Apps, 2022. An article on dating app revenue and usage statistics.
  2. Healthy Framework, n.d. Statistics about American online dating.
  3. Compare Camp, 2020. An article on 2020/2021 online dating statistics: market share, dangers, and benefits.
  4. Pew Research, 2019. A study on 4,860 US adults through an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses.
  5. Statista, 2019. A study of 1,208 US respondents on first-hand experience or someone they know found a partner through a dating app/website.
  6. Cloud Wards, 2022. An article on online statistics and trends.
  7. Bustle, 2017. An article on How Many People Who Meet On Apps Get Married?
  8. Her Norm, 2022. Surprising online statistics and trends. Note: original data from Kapersky.com.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

Got Questions? Ping me on Twitter.