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What Statistics Tells Us About Online Dating
Let's Begin With These Facts & Figures
There are 2,500 online dating websites in the US alone, with 1,000 new sites being launched every year, according to an article in Forbes. Estimates reveal that there are 8,000 online dating sites worldwide.
Online dating websites generated $1.6 Billion in revenues in 2012. Here are some statistics that highlight the reasons for the growing popularity of such sites:
- More than 44% of American adults are single.
- Swiftly declining percentage of married people.
- 64% people between the age of 18 and 29 years have never been married.
- Merely 56% of people between the age of 30 and 39 are married.
Online Dating Statistics
Thousands Have Married Through Online Dating
The Internet has been catering to single individuals almost from the time of its inception. Even before the existence of dating websites, people were meeting through personal ads akin to those in newspaper classifieds, as well as through chat rooms that were bringing together people of common interest. The first dating websites did not make an entrance in the online dating scene until 1994. It is generally acknowledged that these were kiss.com and match.com, according to an article published by brainz.com. However, by 1996, the Yahoo! Directory had listed no less than sixteen dating websites, of which the most popular were FriendFinder.com and OneandOnly.com.
Online dating first made its presence felt in Hollywood in 1998, through the popular movie, You've Got Mail. In 2002, the first social networking websites, Friendster and Myspace were launched, leading to yet another medium through which online dating would continue to prosper. As a result, nearly 120,000 marriages every year take place, at least in part, due to online dating, stated the Online Dating Magazine.
Online Dating: Meeting in Person
Few Who Date Online Meet in Person
Given the success stories of online dating, it may come as a surprise to you to know that only one-third of online daters actually meet the person they have been talking to in person. This was discovered by a survey conducted by Pew Research Centre in late 2013. The survey went on to state that the number of people who went for an in-person date with the someone they met on a dating website has grown in the recent years, as in 2005, only half the people chose to meet. While on the one hand, it goes to underline the dangers of meeting an unknown person through the internet, it may also go to prove that the internet provides certain individuals the vicarious pleasure of having an alternate life, which remains distinct from their real life.
Couples Who Meet Online Tend to Marry Sooner
It was found that the average length of courtship for people who met online was considerably less than those who met offline. The Statistics Brain Research Institute states that online daters who decide to tie the knot can arrive at the 'I Do' in just 18.5 months whereas those who meet the traditional way, on average date for 42 months before they marry. However, it is not as if people are making hasty decisions and regretting them later. Another study found that only 6 percent of the couples that meet online tend to divorce. This was the study published in the Journal of Proceedings of National Academy of Science and funded by eHarmony in 2013. This may be attributed to the fact that people who date online are able to decipher more decisive information about the person in question through their profile, than couples can find in the course of a few dates.
Marriage After Online Dating
Large Majority of Online Daters Lie
Eighty-one percent of people misrepresent their height, weight or age in their profiles, according to a study led by Catalina L. Toma, an assistant professor in the department of communication arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reported an article in The New York Times on November 12, 2011. However, these are only minor lies when one looks at the broad spectrum of deception that is possible through online dating. It is not without reason that a reputed infidelity investigation firm like All State Investigation has branched into background searches for people who choose to meet people from a dating website. One could find out about the person's criminal and credit history or verify the personal details provided by him.
Is Online Dating a Safe Way to Meet People?
No Clear Verdict
If you are confused about the veracity of online dating, no one could blame you. While groups of scientists across the world are studying the phenomenon, the data that is available is insufficient for providing a clear verdict. However, it is an accurate marker of the state of online dating in contemporary times, where success and horror stories co-exist in an uneasy balance.