Shifts in How Couples Meet, Online Takes the Top

Watch the change in rank over six decades.

We saw how people meet, but it was a snapshot of a population. It included people of all ages and generations in aggregate. What I really want to know is how couples meet now. How has it changed over the years? The chart below shows the shifting rankings, moving with each decade.

How Couples Meet, By Decade

Keep an eye on “met online.”

Like before, the data comes from the How Couples Meet and Stay Together survey, administered by Michael J. Rosenfeld, Reuben J. Thomas, and Sonia Hausen.

People seem to like this internet thing. Meeting online, which includes apps and dating services, spiked in 2000 and then took the top spot in the current decade. Meeting someone through family is much lower than it was in the 1960s. However, meeting through friends is still up there. This seems to make sense, if television sitcoms and period dramas have taught me anything.

Notes

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The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

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