When it comes to finding romantic partners in the 21st century, dating apps have long been considered where it’s at – and it shows. In 2022, the industry was valued at $9.65 billion and has only continued to grow. 

However, as with any arena, growth is far from linear, and not without a few missteps. Bumble, the app that prides itself on letting women start the conversation, recently came into controversy when it released an ad campaign that many found inappropriate and off-base with the consumers it claims to serve.  

In the past, CivicScience data has shed light on the prominence of dating apps, especially amidst high loneliness statistics. So who is swiping right in 2024? And has sentiment evolved? Tune into the most up-to-date insights on the online dating world to find out. 

Dating App Usage Is Up

Currently, a total of 23% of U.S. adults say they use dating apps with some level of frequency. Six percent are using dating apps daily, with an additional 6% using them weekly. However, it’s clear that dating app usage is generally on the rise, as 22% of users are using dating apps more than they were a year ago. That’s up from 18% who said the same in 2022.

Among users, men are far more likely to use dating apps than women. The most recent data show that while 29% of men use dating apps with some level of frequency, just 18% of women say the same. On a micro level, that translates to nearly twice the amount of men as women using the apps daily. 

While usage is up, the question of satisfaction remains. Eleven percent of respondents have used dating apps and liked them, but 16% have used them but do not. So while 6% of current non-users have plans to give swiping a try, keeping an eye on the gap between satisfaction and dissatisfaction will be key moving forward. After all, with apps vying for user eyes – and time – those who deliver the worst user experience will need to get innovative to survive. 

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Consumers Rank Bumble and Tinder as Top Apps

Which app comes out on top? When given the choice of five major dating apps, dating app users were overall most likely to use Tinder in the next month, while they are ‘very likely’ to use Bumble the most. eHarmony, Hinge, and OkCupid also rank among the top apps.

In light of Bumble’s recent PR bumble, it’s worth noting that female users are most likely to use Tinder and eHarmony, overall. However, when looking solely at the apps that users are ‘very likely’ to use in the next 30 days, Bumble still takes the cake. 

Men are also still flocking to the app. While they’re most likely to use Tinder and Bumble overall, Bumble is the app with the highest percentage of male users who are ‘very likely’ to use in the next month.

Additionally, and perhaps not surprisingly, those who report being the most lonely are also the most likely to be using dating apps with the highest frequency.

Putting a Price on Love

Of course, every app boasts a different goal. But what are Americans really looking for when they’re swiping right? 

As the data show, 32% of users are looking for a long-term partner, while 32% are looking for something more casual. Although nearly half of those aged 18-44 who are interested in dating are not interested in paying for dating app usage, the percentage of those who will pay $1 to $75 per month has increased since last year. Whereas, fewer people are willing to pay more than $75 monthly.

And for those curious, it’s worth noting that men demonstrate more interest in paying for dating apps than women.

There’s also a strong correlation between those who are willing to pay for dating apps and those who currently pay for food delivery subscription services, suggesting an ever-growing interest in having every need met, with a few quick swipes. People who are willing to pay more than $15 a month for dating apps are roughly twice as likely to also pay for food delivery subscriptions, such as DoorDash DashPass.

What remains clear is that Americans want connection. With around 1-in-5 U.S. adults actively dating right now, an increasing number of Americans using dating apps, and a decreased hesitation to pay dating app subscription fees, this industry shows no sign of slowing down. Just like groceries, the price of love continues to rise. 

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