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Online dating and flirting sites

This question was asked of everyone in a marriage or other long-term partnership, including many whose relationships were initiated well before meeting online was an option.

Even today, the vast majority of Americans who are in a marriage, partnership, or other serious relationship say that they met their partner through offline—rather than online—means.

At the same time, the proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled in the last eight years.

Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites.

Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 2005.

Some 42% of Americans know someone who has used online dating, up from 31% in 2005.

And 29% of Americans now know someone who met a spouse or other long-term partner through online dating, up from just 15% in 2005.

Younger adults are also more likely than older ones to say that their relationship began online.

Some 8% of 18-29 year olds in a marriage or committed relationship met their partner online, compared with 7% of 30-49 year olds, 3% of 50-64 year olds, and just 1% of those 65 and older.

We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters,” and we define them in the following way: Taken together, 11% of all American adults have done one or both of these activities and are classified as “online daters.” In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.

Some 22% of 25-34 year olds and 17% of 35-44 year olds are online daters.

These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era, the first dedicated study of this subject by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project since 2005.