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What Statistics Tells Us About Online Dating

Updated on February 9, 2016

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

Fall and Stay in Love?
Fall and Stay in Love? | Source

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 and, according to an article published by However, by 1996, the Yahoo! Directory had listed no less than sixteen dating websites, of which the most popular were and

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?

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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.


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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 22 months ago

      Ultimately it's not about (where) you meet but (who) you meet.

      Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

      Online dating is just a (tool) for meeting new people.

      Much like a fork is a (tool) for eating. One can (choose) to eat a garden salad or a slice of double fudge cake. However an obese person would never dream of blaming their (fork) for their weight gain!

      And yet many people who have bad online dating experiences will blame the online dating industry! (Acting as if they didn't choose who to engage with).

      Too often people don't research online dating sites as well as those which are niche sites. They also often have unrealistic expectations. Any young woman age 18 -27 who believes she is going to find a guy in that age range who is ready to "settle down", get married, sign a 30 year mortgage, and have children; is setting herself up for a major heartache!

      Guys in that age range for the most part are looking to play video games, watch sports, party with their friends, and get laid.

      According to statistics in the U.S. the average person loses their virginity at age 17. The average first time married woman is (27) and the average first time married guy is (29). Therefore someone who loses their virginity at 17 is likely to have 10-12 years of sexual experience before getting married.

      Odds are they won't marrying their "first love"!

      Another key statistic is the divorce rate hovers around 50%.

      This would indicate that no matter how you met there is a 50% chance that if you marry one another you'll eventually get divorced.

      Truth be told when it comes to love and relationships most of us (fail our way) to success. We tend to evolve as we age and whatever were our "must have" traits in a mate age 18 aren't likely to be the same at age 28 or 30. With each failed relationship we learn something new about ourselves with regard to what we want and need in a mate.

      Hopefully at some point we learn to make better choices for ourselves!

      It pays to use good commonsense when dealing with strangers whether they be online or offline. You're responsible for having your own "screening process" to determine who and when to meet someone.

      If you are having one bad dating experience after another it's probably time to reexamine your "mate selection criteria".

      The only thing all of your bad relationships have in common is (you).

    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 22 months ago from India

      very informative.. You presented it in a very good way.