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Popularity, Prevalence of Online Dating in U.S. Increased

Increasing popularity suggests online dating in the U.S. is here to stay.
A recent Pew Internet report revealed a significant increase in popularity and prevalence of online dating.

“One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating,” Pew reported.

Only 3 percent of the U.S. population had used online dating in 2008.

More men (13 percent) use online dating sites than women (9 percent) while persons aged 25-34 (22 percent) and 35-44 (17 percent) were most likely to use these sites.

After reading the report, Robert Parham, executive editor at EthicsDaily.com, tweeted: “Call me a conservative or skeptic. Not sure what to think: 1 in 10 American adults have used online dating sites.”

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, retweeted Parham’s comment, adding: “That’s an amazing number!”

While surprising to some, the report revealed that 29 percent of all U.S. adults personally know someone that was currently either in a long-term committed relationship or married to a person they met online.

“General public attitudes towards online dating have become much more positive in recent years,” Pew noted, “and social networking sites are now playing a prominent role when it comes to navigating and documenting romantic relationships.”

Supporting this conclusion is the fact that 59 percent of U.S. Internet users said “online dating is a good way to meet people.”

The prevalence of online dating among religious traditions was not directly assessed. However, the report noted that 2 percent of those surveyed had used the Christian dating site ChristianMingle.com, and 52 percent believed that online dating helped with “meeting people who share your beliefs or values.”

The full report can be viewed online and downloaded here.