What percentage of the population uses online dating

The results of Pew's recent study aren't directly comparable to its 2005 report because the way surveyors count the "online dating population" has changed. That said, the percentage of Americans who say they have used an online dating website grew from 3 percent in 2008 to 6 percent in 2009, and 9 percent this year.

Among Pew's other findings: - Don't call it stalking: One-third of Americans who use social networking sites use the sites to check up on somebody they once dated.

Once upon a time, couples who found each other online felt compelled to spin alternate "how we met" tales, but that's no longer the case. In 2005, 29 percent of Internet users agreed that people on online dating sites were "desperate." In Pew's most recent study, that number fell to 21 percent.

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Thirty-eight percent of Americans who are "single and looking" say they've used an online dating site or mobile dating app, according to a new study.

The report due out Monday from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project suggests that attitudes toward online dating "have progressed in a clearly positive direction." In fact, 59 percent of Internet users agree that online dating is a good way to meet people. As Americans shop, socialize and entertain themselves online, a growing number are turning to the Internet to find dates.

For ages 35 to 44, it's 17 percent and then the numbers fall to the single digits.

Three percent of those over 65 have dabbled in online dating.

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