Online dating in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Whether it is used as a tool for finding a soulmate or as a gateway to casual hookups, online dating has become one of the most popular avenues for singles in the United States. During the past decade, consumer demand for internet dating services has increased significantly due to busy work schedules and the proliferation of broadband internet connections. What was considered a last attempt for the desperate and lonely not too long ago is now becoming socially acceptable, and as the stigma is beginning to dissipate, a vast plethora of matchmaking platforms are making internet dating in the United States a multi-million-dollar industry.

In 2019, online dating revenue in the U.S. amounted to 973 million U.S. dollars, and it is projected to surpass 1.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. The number of users is also expected to see an annual increase, with 35.4 million Americans expected to use internet dating services in 2024, up from 30.4 million users in 2019. That year, paying customers accounted for approximately one-third of U.S. online dating users. While many dating sites and apps are free, some platforms use a freemium pricing model that supports online purchases. By upgrading to premium accounts, users can get various exclusive features like notifications on profile visitors or profile visibility boosts.

Whether such paid subscriptions increase the likelihood of finding the perfect match is debatable. And while it is difficult to measure the success rate of dating related services in general, online dating platforms have undoubtedly become one of the most common initial points of contact for couples and marriage partners in the United States. According to a 2019 study, almost half of U.S. online users have met or know someone who has met a romantic partner via a dating website or app. By the end of that year, around 77 percent of adult online users reported having gone on a date with someone they had met online. In terms of motivation, some 49 percent of dating app users stated that they used these services to look for an exclusive romantic relationship, while 23 percent of respondents listed sexual encounters as their main incentive. The same survey also found that dating platform or app usage was more popular with male internet users, while female users generally witnessed more negative behavior from their chat partners.

In 2019, the most popular dating platform in the United States was Tinder, followed by Bumble and PlentyOfFish. With over 7.86 million users and annual direct revenue of over 1.15 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, the mobile app managed to outperform all established competitors by a significant margin, primarily due to its targeting of dedicated smartphone users. Tinder is owned by Match Group Inc., an American internet company that operates a portfolio of dating websites, including Match.com, OkCupid, and PlentyOfFish. The Match Group generated 2.05 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2019, with over 9.8 million subscribers worldwide. To become a fully independent company, the Match Group announced an upcoming separation from holding company IAC (InterActiveCorp) in late 2019 after having been a subsidiary for over four years. How this future split will affect its products remains to be seen. In any case, the potential for innovation is seemingly endless, as Bumble has already shown. The dating app, created by former Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, only allows female users to initiate chatting in hopes of curbing unwanted advances and making the digital dating world a more women-friendly environment.

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Online dating in the United States

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Leading dating apps and platforms

Usage

The Match Group

Tinder

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