A global look at who has found love through an app

YouGov
September 22, 2021, 6:16 PM UTC

For consumers of a certain age, finding companionship is simply a matter of swiping right. While many on dating apps may not be looking for commitment, new YouGov research shows how many adults across 17 markets found their current romantic partner through a mobile app. 

Adults in Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and urban India are the most likely to have met their partner via an app. 

Indonesia tops our list, with 16% of adults reporting that they found their current partner simply with a gesture of their thumb on a screen. This new data comes as Indonesia sees more people skipping dating to go straight to marriage as a result of social movements challenging whether dating is appropriate for young Muslims. Alongside apps such as Tinder and Badoo, there are others that cater to those looking to move straight to marriage. 

In the UAE, 46% say they found more than just a one-night stand by using an app. In the Emirates, young expatriates make up a significant portion of the population – many of which are likely single and looking to meet new friends -- making it an apt market for dating apps to flourish. 

In India, where arranged marriages are common, 12% of adults are currently dating someone they met on an app. 

Meanwhile, western markets appear lower on our list with 8% of Americans and 6% of adults in the United Kingdom currently with someone they met virtually on their phone. While these apps remain popular in these regions, it appears fewer users are finding longer-term relationships compared to other markets. 

YouGov data shows a plurality of global adults aged 25-34 met their current partner on an app (16%). Unsurprisingly, that number dwindles among older cohorts: 9% of those aged 35-44, 5% of those 45-54, and a marginal number of those aged 55 and over reported as much. The number is also lower among those 18-24, though perhaps that’s a result of Gen Z consumers not feeling the need to commit to a relationship as readily as Millennials. 

Indeed, it’s almost certain that restricted movement due to COVID-19 lockdowns over the last year and a half fueled demand for mobile dating apps. The trend of finding love through a smartphone is unlikely to cool anytime soon. 

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 509 and 2,124 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in August 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.