Global Dating Statistics (2024): Status, Values, Channels, and Apps
Modern dating can be a complex process. However, once you find the partner of your dreams or the connection of the century, every heart racing text, first date, and sugary-sweet kiss is worth it.
As time goes on, the ritual of finding a compatible partner seems to get increasingly diverse. With so many unique apps, identities, people, and ways to approach relationships, knowing where to go and how to find love can feel a little daunting.
But there’s one way to gain confidence in the modern dating field. Developing a clear understanding of how it looks, what people want, and where they’re flocking to can help you create a better roadmap for finding that special someone.
Whether you’re looking for a sugar daddy, sugar baby, a lifelong partner, or even just a little bit of fun on the side, there’s bound to be someone for you out there.You just need to know where to find them.
That’s why we reviewed dating data from Polly that’s based on an independent sample of a whopping 4,984,337 people from Reddit, X (Twitter), and TikTok worldwide.
The data was collected over twelve months, ending on the 31st of January, 2024. The demographics of these nearly 5 million people were determined using numerous factors, including names, locations, and self-disclosed descriptions. The research focused on what people described online, not questions posed, and covered four main points of interest: majority relationship statuses, how people prefer to meet partners, what apps they like to use, and what values they deem most important in a partnership.
Let’s take a closer look at what this 2024 dating data reveals.
Relationship status: What statuses are most popular in 2024?
The purpose of reviewing Polly’s data was to gain a deeper understanding of the current dating landscape. Of the people included in this global-reaching dating study, here’s what we found of people dating:
- 35% are in a relationship
- 27% are single
- 2.5% are married
- 1% are divorced
- Less than 1% are engaged, widowed, or separated
Although there are increasingly more single people than coupled-up folk in the world, the majority of people in the data were in a relationship of some kind. However, this could include all sorts of relationship dynamics, including regular couples, throuples, polyamorous relationships, and even situationships. As society has evolved, the diversity of relationship styles has expanded significantly.
This is connected to a variety of factors.
Firstly, society, in general, is seeing a shift in the way relationships are approached. While in the past, it was most common to date for marriage, more people are choosing to have a more open-minded perspective, embracing unique dynamics that suit their own personal needs rather than simply following the status quo.
Cultural push backs against heteronormativity have also influenced how people approach relationships. As homosexuality, queerness, and flexible gender roles become more accepted and widespread, there’s an opportunity for new types of connections to thrive.
Additionally, society is becoming more open towards transactional or previously atypical dynamics, such as those shared between a sugar baby and a sugar daddy or mommy.
Plus, the rise of sex worker empowerment has played a significant role in how people approach romantic, sexual, and platonic relationships, allowing people to establish boundaries based on personal preferences rather than traditional expectations.
Apps versus organic meetings: How do people prefer to find love?
Love can be found anywhere. But some places are more conducive to it than others. From coffee shops to social media and everything in between, there are countless ways to meet interesting people and potentially ask them out on a date.
But in 2024, where are people turning to when they crave a little bit of loving?
The answer lies in several places.
Let’s take a deep dive into the top five places where those studied go to find love, starting from the least to the most popular:
Less than 1%: Matchmaking Services
With less than 1% indicating that they believe matchmaking services are a good way to find love, it’s safe to assume that this ancient practice of dating isn’t as popular as it once was.
While in the past, it was relatively common for teenagers and adults to seek out the advice of a local matchmaker to find a romantic partner, modern-day daters prefer other methods of singling out a potential mate.
In addition to other methods simply being more popular and trendy, the lack of interest in matchmaking could also be due to the fact that these services simply aren’t as accessible as they once were.
2%: Online Dating
Different from romantic compatibility apps like Tinder or Bumble, online dating is defined by couples that date almost exclusively online and often haven’t met in real life at all.
However, with catfishing and romance scams on the rise and nearly 70,000 people reported being scammed in 2022 alone, this type of long-distance virtual dating is not a hit with modern love-seekers. Online dating was only described as “enjoyable” by around 2% of those studied. However, this type of dating is still considered a very viable way for couples to meet and spend time together in 2024.
4.9%: Blind Dates
Blind dates may be unpredictable, but according to statistics, they still beat matchmaking and online dating popularity. Not knowing what your date looks like until the moment your date begins can feel scary, but it also prevents superficial judgments from getting in the way and helps people show off more of their personality before getting too fixated on someone’s appearance.
5.1%: Speed Dating
Speed dating was very popular in the 80s and 90s, but the 2020s have seen a slight dip in the popularity of this kind of strategy. While this fast-paced approach to dating can be fun, it can also require a lot of effort, which makes it a less attractive option for the short attention-spanned people of today.
Speed dating events are well-suited to people who want to sift through lots of options within a short space of time and can be the start of an exciting love story should you land at the right table at the right time.
40%: Dating Apps
With over 40% of those studied enjoying using dating apps to find love, it’s safe to say that digital dating is by far the most popular way to meet and get to know potential partners in 2024.
Apps are accessible, easy to navigate, and comfortable for modern people to use – not to mention often very successful.
Dating apps: Which channels and platforms are people using to find love in 2024?
It’s been a great decade for dating apps and the next few years look set to continue this trend.
Statista reported that there were over 366 million people worldwide using online dating apps and services in 2022. It’s estimated that by 2027, this number will increase to over 440 million people.
The ubiquitousness of social media has meant that people can connect with each other at a moment’s notice – and explore the prospect of relationships without needing to necessarily go out and find them.
People like dating apps because they provide a safe space to put yourself out there regardless of how shy or uncertain you might feel about talking to strangers. Being able to window-shop potential dates is fun!
There are thousands of dating apps available in 2024, but only a handful have emerged as star players in this field. According to Polly’s data, these are the most popular dating channels in use today:
- Her – Her (previously Dattch) gets a 25% approval rating and is one of the most popular dating apps in the world. Focusing on lesbian, queer, bisexual, and straight women, non-binary, and transgender people, Her reflects a prominent demand for more inclusive and non-male-initiating dating networks.
- Tinder – 13% of those studied listed Tinder as a “great dating app”. Flexible, friendly, and accommodating to a wide variety of different dating needs, Tinder is widely considered to be the most commonly used dating app in the Western world.
- Grindr – Grindr identifies as the world’s largest social networking app for people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community, and it is deemed popular by just over 12% of those surveyed.
- Match.com – This dating app focuses on connecting users via advanced matchmaking technology. According to the survey data, 4% see it as a good dating app for finding a relationship.
- Hinge – User-friendly and easy to navigate, Hinge touts itself as the dating app for people who want to get off dating apps. It is ranked as a good dating app by just under 4% of data contributors in 2024.
- Bumble – Bumble helps people find both romantic and platonic online pairings and does not allow male-identifying users to message first. Similarly to Hinge, it is also ranked as a good dating app by just less than 4% of those surveyed.
- Plenty of Fish – POF is a dating app growing in popularity for its easy-to-use app functionality and ability to match users based on unique characteristics. It is ranked as good by around 1% of people in the study.
- eHarmony – Also with around 1% of users supporting its effectiveness, eHarmony is a dating app that focuses on helping people find “real love” as quickly as possible.
- Coffee Meets Bagel – Last on the list is Coffee Meets Bagel, a compatibility-centered dating app that aims to connect people based on shared interests. Less than 1% of those studied ranked Coffee Meets Bagel as a good app, indicating that its matchmaking features could improve.
Relationship values: What do people find most important in a partner?
Shared relationship values are key to making a partnership work. When your values align, it can be easier to make joint decisions, provide support for each other, and share similar views on important life and global issues.
So, what values are most people looking for in a partner in 2024?
According to the data, less than 2% of respondents said that shared interests were important in dating. However, more than 24% agreed that trust was the most important thing when it comes to being in a relationship.
Let’s take a closer look at the stats:
- 24%: trust – Being able to trust your partner is crucial for maintaining a relationship. Trust is the most commonly prioritized relationship value on the modern dating scene.
- 21%: intimacy – Feeling a deep, close connection to a partner can make people feel loved, which is probably why intimacy is such a widespread relationship value.
- 15%: communication – Being able to express your thoughts and feelings openly means better conflict resolution and a clearer understanding of one another’s needs. Many people consider communication the most important relationship value.
- 10.5%: emotional connection – Feeling emotionally connected to your partner often means a deeper, more everlasting bond.
- 10.2%: physical attraction – Physical attraction might sound superficial, but in many cases, it is the key to unlocking loyalty and connection long-term.
- 2.3%: deal breakers – When you have the same deal-breakers (such as cheating, using substances, or gossiping) as your partner, it can be easier to navigate boundaries and conflicts.
- 2.2%: compatible relationship goals – Having the same goals for your relationship means your actions and intentions can line up in a more consistent way.
- 1.8%: shared interests – Last but not least, less than 2% of those studied say that shared interests and hobbies are most important for a successful dating experience.
Every relationship is different, and dating someone doesn’t mean you have to be the same person. It just means you have to share some common ground with regard to values, boundaries, interests, communication styles, and goals. A recent study published in the journal Nature Human Behavior confirms this, with partners sharing up to 89% of traits on average.
Even having just one or two of these things in common results in a successful dating partnership.
Dating data that helps you make decisions
The dating game is full of excitement, ways to meet your match and find like-minded people who value the same things in life and relationships.
There are also endless ways to approach a relationship—between casual hookups, sugar baby and daddy dynamics, polyamorous relationships, a broad spectrum of gender and sexuality identities, and everything else. But if there’s one thing to say about modern dating, it is that it’s never boring.
By learning more about how the dating world works from a data and statistical perspective, you can take a more analytical look at how to move forward with your personal interests at heart. Finding your match may well be a numbers game!
About the Data
Data sourced from Polly, whom created an independent sample of 4,984,337 people from Twitter, Reddit and TikTok worldwide over the past 12 months up to 31st Jan 2024. Responses were collected and analysed to produce outcomes within a 90% confidence interval and 5% margin of error. Engagement estimated how many people in the location are participating. Demographics were determined using many features including name, location and self disclosed description. Privacy was preserved using k-anonymity and differential privacy. Results are based on what people describe online — questions were not posed to the people in the sample.