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Older women, especially, who were alone for any reason — widowhood, divorce, or simply not meeting the right person — were the recipients of sympathetic clucks and dating suggestions from well-meaning friends, and they often felt shy about attending events usually frequented by couples. But increasingly, men and women in their 50s and 60s are thumbing their noses at the notion of couple-hood as an expectation — or even a desire.


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Many single adults in the U. Of the half who are not looking for a relationship or dates at the moment, having more important priorities and enjoying being single are their top reasons why they are not looking to date.

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For those who are on the dating market, about half are open to either a relationship or casual dates, and relatively few are looking only for something casual. In particular, daters younger than age 40 are less likely than older daters to be looking for only casual dates.

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A small share of singles report that they are, in fact, currently casually dating someone. This group includes singles of all ages and most of them are open to a relationship if one comes along. Among those who are married or in a relationship, meeting through friends or family is the most popular way to have met their partner.

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But meeting online is common among younger adults and those who are lesbian, gay or bisexual LGB. While about three-in-ten U. These age differences bely huge differences by gender. There are also differences in the share who are single by race and educational attainment.

LGB Americans do tend to be younger on average than those who are straight among those surveyed, the median age of LGB respondents is 35 compared with 48 among straight adultsbut these differences are just as large after controlling for age. Whether people are looking to date or not can be explained, in part, by gender, age and past relationships — factors which are inextricably linked, but all have an impact.

Half of those ages 50 to 64 and three-quarters of those 65 and older are not looking for either a relationship or dates at the moment. This at least partly reflects the age differences among those with different marital histories.

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The gender differences are heavily concentrated among older singles. However, these differences can primarily be explained by age and gender.

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These reasons vary by age. Men and women see eye to eye on almost all these reasons for not looking to date.

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Looking at adults whose dating days are behind them — at least for the time being — friends and family were the most common source in helping them find a match. Meeting online is more common among those in relatively new relationships.

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The youngest age group 18 to 29 is more likely than their older counterparts to have met their partners in school, while adults older than 50 are more likely to have met at work than younger people. This is the case even when taking into that urban and suburban residents tend to be younger than those in rural areas. research suggests that online dating is a particularly common way to meet for populations with a small pool of potential partners, such as LGB daters.

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Even when controlling for the fact that LGB adults tend to be younger than their straight counterparts, they are still much more likely to have met their partner online. These singles are younger on average — single adults who have never been in a relationship have a median age of 24, compared with 35 among those who have been in a relationship. Fresh data delivered Saturday mornings.

Pew Research Center now uses as the last birth year for Millennials in our work.

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President Michael Dimock explains why. Born afterthe oldest Gen Zers will turn 23 this year.

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They are racially and ethnically diverse, progressive and pro-government, and more than 20 million will be eligible to vote in November. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

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It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Newsletters Donate My .

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Research Topics. Share of adults who are single varies by race, age, education and sexual orientation While about three-in-ten U. Introductions through family or friends are the most common way people meet a partner, but meeting partners online is common among some groups Looking at adults whose dating days are behind them — at least for the time being — friends and family were the most common source in helping them find a match.

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