New survey data from Stanford University has shown that among English literate adults in the United States, couples who meet online tend to be more diverse than couples who meet offline.
This difference can be explained in large part, however, by the age difference between those who date online and those who do not. The median age of respondents who met their partners online was 36, while the median age of those who met offline was 51.
Over 3,000 people participated in the survey, which was titled “How Couples Meet and Stay Together”.
Around 30% of online couples dated across racial lines. This was true of under 20% of offline couples.
The gap was one of the largest found in the study. Another showed that 46% of online couples hold differing political opinions, compared to 40% of offline couples.
Online meeting seemed to correlate less with the data on education levels and income. 83% of online couples and 85% of offline couples had different income levels, while 63% of online couples and 59% of offline couples had different education levels.
The study also found that 37% of same-sex couples had met online, compared to 12% of opposite-sex couples. This corroborates earlier research, which suggests that meeting people in sparse populations is easier online.
Research from The Netherlands this week found that almost 50% of young people in the country had made an online dating profile.
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