Do you have trouble finding your perfect match? Don’t know where to look, the local pub or Tinder? We have the answer for you!
These dating statistics are sure to provide you with all the information you need on the dating scene in the UK and so much more.
Let’s get started!
18% of couples met their present or most recent partner through work. Other ways Brits find love, according to a 2020 YouGov survey, include meeting through friends (18%) or at restaurants, pubs, parks (15%), i.e. while out and about.
On the other end of the spectrum, only 3% found love through family, whereas none of the Brits surveyed had met a special someone at speed dating or a similar event.
But then again, dating doesn’t always lead to a serious relationship. So, where do most people meet their spouse?
A 2018 poll of 2,000 British adults discovered that 25% of married couples in the UK met while out with friends. Another one in five met at the office, whereas 10% married their childhood sweetheart.
Even though looking for romance on dating apps is the most pronounced trend among millennials and younger generations, the majority of couples still meet in the real world. Where they meet, however, depends on age, dating stats suggest. That said, 15% of younger generations found a date through friends, while people in the 45-54 age group most commonly met a significant other at work (22%).
Furthermore, 18% of 18 to 24-year-olds find a love interest at university or school as opposed to just 5% of 45-54 year-olds who meet in an academic setting.
Two in five respondents in a survey would consider moving somewhere new if that would improve their odds of finding the love of their life. When it comes to gender, dating stats in the UK reveal that men are more willing to uproot their lives for love. Namely, 47% of blokes said they would consider exploring options outside their town as opposed to two-thirds of women who would rather stay put.
(The Office of National Statistics)
Based on the latest dating statistics from the Office of National Statistics, over a third of the population in England and Wales was made up of singletons, i.e. people who are not and had never been married. On the other hand, 50.2% were married, and 0.2% were in a civil partnership.
Even though same-sex marriage has been legal in England, Wales and Scotland since 2014, four years later, more than two-thirds of the LGB community in the UK was still single. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s hard to date, but rather than more and more Brits are coming out as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
In fact, the number of LGB individuals in the UK has increased by more than a third between 2014 and 2018, whereas the percentage of heterosexual adults has declined from 95.3% to 94.6% over the same period.
In 2017, 10% of men admitted to using online dating services. The proportion of female users, however, was twice as less. Further dating app statistics revealed that 67% of women never used such apps and sites compared to 56% of men. Finally, 26% of ladies reported using them in the past—a much lower percentage than the 32% of blokes who said the same.
Half of single people in the UK have never invited anyone on a date in person but have rather approached them online. And it’s not just dates! Online relationships statistics show that 46% of singles have never even broken up with their partner in person, choosing calls, online or text messages instead. One of the possible reasons for this phenomenon is comfort and confidence—a quarter of singles said that when it comes to dating, they feel freer to be themselves on the net than in person.
More than 10% of people in this generation have met someone special over a dating app. The second biggest age group with a high online dating success rate are 40-45 year-olds—less than one in ten of this generation found their significant other through apps.
Unsurprisingly, the usage of romance apps goes down with age as less than 5% of older generations (50 to 70 year-olds) have found love online.
Dating website statistics tell us that people aged 40-44 prefer meeting through sites rather than apps. One in nine of people in this age group have found a partner on a dating website, unlike just 7% who have successfully used an app.
Judging by a 2017 survey, 46% use dating apps to find someone who shares the same interests as them. On the other hand, 45% of respondents said they go on online dating apps to find a long-term partner or get married.
A more extensive vetting process, chosen by 21% in a 2021 survey, is the main factor that would encourage Brits to use online dating services more often. 19% went with more choice in their area (the second most popular preference), and 16% wanted more personalised matches. 11%, on the other hand, said they would use online dating services in the UK more if they knew something about the other person’s attitude towards Covid-19 restrictions, while 9% would like it if the app suggested ideas and venues for dates.
(DataReportal) (Statista) (Sky News)
10.3% of online adults between the ages of 16 and 64 use dating and friendship apps. Interestingly, homosexual and bisexual people are more likely to be on a romance app, while 63% of heterosexuals said they never used dating apps or sites.
But, just how many relationships start online? Between 2015 and 2019, 32% of new couples met on the net, a rise from the 19% of new relationships that originated online between 2005 and 2014. And the number of internet couples has no intention of slowing down—it’s estimated that more than half of relationships will start online by 2035.
Are men more open to technology or just more desperate for love? Whatever the case, dating statistics point to apps being favoured more by UK men than women. As many as 85% of app users in the country are men, a number which is even higher on Tinder, where there is around one woman per nine male users.
A 2019 survey shows that most UK smartphone users (69%) who go on dating apps are not involved with anyone. More specifically, 63% are single, while 6% are divorced or widowed. But don’t get too comfortable and put your guard down when using apps! The same online dating facts and figures reveal that as many as 18% of users are married, and another 13% are currently in a relationship.
(The Daily Mirror) (Business of Apps) (The Daily Telegraph)
55% of the UK residents have used Tinder at least once, dating app statistics indicate, making it the most popular application. Tinder usage in the UK is more pronounced among younger generations, 25 to 34-year-olds in particular, and skilled workers living in urban environments, who are three times more likely to use the app than unskilled/manual workers.
eHarmony also ranks high on the list of most popular dating apps in the UK. This LA-based dating website has 5 million users in Britain and more than 10 million worldwide. Other commonly used dating apps include Match.com with 3 million users, as well as senior-friendly dating app Silver Singles, which boasts 70,000 users in the UK.
(The Daily Telegraph)
An HTC study showed that almost a quarter of Brits keep their dating app profile active even if they are in a relationship. More alarmingly, in Northern Ireland, this percentage is 10% higher. On top of that, a quarter said that they have one or more apps installed on their phone. Talk about keeping your options open!
The Facebook Dating app, launched in Europe in 2020, is quickly becoming one of the biggest dating sites in the UK. In 2021, this platform recorded more than 30 million users, 10 million of which access it every week. Most of its members are straight singles, with male users dominating the site—57% of men vs 43% of women.
According to a study of over 2,000 UK residents, social media PDA can cause a lot of pressure on singles and couples alike. Namely, a quarter of respondents said that they usually compare their relationship to other couples they see online, while almost a third feel jealous of people flaunting their love on social networks.
It also seems that the more you use social media, the more you tend to get fits of jealousy. Frequent social networking users are five times more prone to feel like they have to display the image of a perfect couple. As a result, they are two times more likely to be unhappy with their relationship.
Be careful who you talk to online! It turns out that 57% of people who date online are not honest, mainly lying about their names, marital status and physical appearance. The majority of internet daters who are dishonest, or 67%, are married men.
Although it’s not the primary use of artificial intelligence, technology can also be used to detect online scams. Scientists in the UK, US and Australia recently worked together on an AI-based system that analyses and tracks fake profiles to prevent romantic scams and fraud. The system surprisingly found out that 60% of fake accounts were created by men over the age of 50.
(UK Finance) (Tiger Mobiles)
Catfishing is one of the most widely spread scams in the world of online. Men seem to be more gullible or honest (depending on your viewpoint), as 33% of them admitted to being catfished compared to 20% of women.
Men are also more likely to be victims of ID theft (62% vs 38%) or be asked for money online—26% vs 15%.
As many as one in five online daters have been asked for money or have given money to someone they met on the net. People usually paid around £321, although they admit to being asked for more.
Adding it all up, UK Finance reports that a staggering £7.9 million were lost to online dating scams in the first six months of 2019 alone. Even more alarming, this sum is twice as high as the one recorded the previous year.
Online dating violence statistics indicate a massive increase of sexual report cases over the last decade. From only 33 reported cases of online dating-related rape back in 2009 to 184 in 2014, there was a six-fold increase recorded in just five years!
The overall dating industry in the UK was reported to boost the economy with £14.5 billion every year. Dating apps alone account for more than half of this contribution, with £11.7 billion, making it beyond clear that looking for romance is a costly business.
Romance doesn’t happen on its own! Currently, 469 businesses are operating on the dating market in the UK, which employs a total of 1,187 people.
Revenue in the online dating segment of the industry is projected to grow at an annual rate of 1.92%, going up to £78 million in four years. User penetration is also expected to increase from 14.2% in 2021 to 14.5% by 2024.
First date statistics show that gender plays a huge part when footing the bill. Men usually spend around £50 on the first date, while women pay considerably less, or about £36. This is somewhat surprising considering that 47% of Brits believe the bill for the first date should be split evenly between both parties. Then again, 40% still think paying for the first date is the man’s responsibility.
Even though 89% of respondents interviewed by the dating app Plenty of Fish have had a pub date, this location is still considered the least romantic venue for a first date. On the other hand, dating stats in the UK indicate restaurants that offer outdoor dining experience are some of the most popular places, with 33% of those polled deciding to go with an alfresco dinner, and 30% suggesting a rooftop restaurant as the ideal setting for a first date.
According to 33% of Brits interviewed, Frankie and Benny’s is the most popular restaurant for first dates. The survey respondents pointed to others ‘go to’ places for a first meeting, including Pizza Express (27%) and Nando’s (25%).
Telling two funny stories, squeezing in two hugs and asking for a second date without being pushy are apparently a sure-proof way to get another meeting. Or at least that is what the dating statistics of a 2020 survey reveal. Another thing that singles appreciate is trying out new things—45% said they would like to explore new places. Keep in mind that 38% also said they want a combo of order and spontaneity when out with a date, so don’t book skydiving lessons yet.
The next time you’re having doubts as to whether to send off your date with a kiss or not, go with dating stats. When asked, the majority of singletons (81%) are prepared to incorporate a smooch in their first date routine, but only when the time is right.
Mentioned by 65% of respondents in a Plenty Of Fish survey, overusing your phone is the biggest turn off during a first date.
Other reasons for turning a first date into a final one include talking about past relationships (47%), forgetting the other person’s name (32%), or getting politics involved (20%).
According to 54% of interviewees, drinking too much at the first meeting is also a reason to call it quits. However, what you order makes all the difference. Namely, stats on dating in Britain show that 60% of women find a man more attractive if he orders wine instead of beer or whiskey.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder why 28% of people would cancel a date just because they didn’t like the venue. When it comes to cancelling dates, old excuses like “washing my hair” or “I don’t feel well” are still used. Namely, 48% of millennials used one of these explanations to get out a date at an unfavourable location.
(The Office of National Statistics) (The Office of National Statistics)
The most recent stats on relationships and marriages by the Office of National Statistics reveal some fascinating information about the UK:
(The Office of National Statistics)
The lockdown has forced Brits to reassess their life goals, dating stats by Relate reports, leading to 61% realising that relationships are the most important thing. This realisation, in turn, led to 8% deciding to break up with their current partner, while another 10% took their relationship to the next level and proposed.
It seems that the need for a personal relationship during the lockdown is easy to exploit by some. In 2020 alone, the number of romance scams increased by 26%, with average losses going over £10,000.
By August 2019, there haven’t been more than 400 reports of fraud a month, while losses were not higher than £66 million, leading authorities to conclude that the pandemic is the root cause behind the increasing numbers.
Feeld, a London-based app for people into polyamorous relationships, saw a 50% annual rise in the number of memberships in the first six months of last year. The number of messages sent after the first lockdown also increased by 120% compared to 2019.
Match Group, the company that owns Tinder, OkCupid and others, also witnessed a rise in the number of global users — about 15% hike in new subscribers in Q2 2020.
Looking for the perfect day for the perfect date? It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day. Analysis of dating trends by OkCupid suggests going with August 1st. The pledge that Brits will be vaccinated by the end of July will most likely put an end to the so-called “sex ban” and open up the possibility to date in person again.
However, even though 86% of the people OkCupid interviewed are excited about dating in the flesh again, we should always remember to put safety first.
Looking for romance can be fun, but as these dating statistics show, it can be quite risky and even dangerous at times.
Nevertheless, if you take all precautions and keep your expectations within limits, there is no reason why you can’t find the love of your life the next time you go to a pub, swipe right, or even turn to the desk next to you.
Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.