Location is one of the most important factors in the online dating scene, especially if you’re hoping to meet a new person quickly. Dating app popularity can vary widely by region, so it’s good to have a working knowledge of the trends, habits, and patterns in each state. Our dating experts have done some online investigation and ranked the most popular dating apps by state. The rankings are based on a combination of Google analytics, online usage surveys, and user recommendations.
The United States is a diverse place to pick up a date, and your success is going to vary widely based on where you live and which app you use. It’s a good idea to get to know your state’s local dating terrain, so you can make an informed decision about which dating app or site to join.
Most Popular Dating Apps Ranked State by State
Online dating has become the norm in the U.S. these days. Young, tech-savvy singles have embraced swiping for local dates, and it’s become the most popular way to meet a future spouse in the U.S. The only trick is finding which dating app is best for your situation. Here’s a comprehensive list of the most popular dating apps in all 50 states.
|State||Most Popular Dating App||Dating App Description|
|4. Arkansas||Farmers Only||
|5. California||Coffee Meets Bagel||
|12. Idaho||Plenty of Fish||
|15. Iowa||Farmers Only||
|17. Kentucky||Christian Mingle||
|19. Maine||Plenty of Fish||
|26. Montana||Plenty of Fish||
|29. New Hampshire||Hinge||
|30. New Jersey||Bumble||
|31. New Mexico||Zoosk||
|32. New York||Happn||
|33. North Carolina||Christian Mingle||
|34. North Dakota||Match||
|36. Oklahoma||Christian Mingle||
|39. Rhode Island||Tinder||
|40. South Carolina||Tinder||
|41. South Dakota||Match||
|42. Tennessee||Christian Mingle||
|43. Texas||Ashley Madison||
|45. Vermont||Elite Singles||
|48. West Virginia||OkCupid||
It’s safe to say that the online dating scene has a lot to offer local singles from California to Texas, but not every dating app is equally successful from state to state. As you probably noticed, the Tinder app is a pretty dominant force no matter where you are. The app has been downloaded over 530 million times and inspires approximately 1.5 million dates per week.
At the same time, we’ve seen smaller and more quality-focused dating apps like Coffee Meets Bagel and Hinge can be very popular and effective in areas where swiping fatigue has set in among the dating populace.
Are There Any Other Popular Dating Apps I Should Try?
We’ve ranked the biggest platforms in every state in the country, but these generally popular dating apps may not be exactly right for every single person. Sometimes niche apps can work more effectively by targeting specific dating interests. That can make a world of difference for older singles, kinky singles, poly singles, and people of color.
If you’re tired of mainstream swiping and want to try a different app, here are some niche networks that appeal to particular segments of the population.
- Send messages to premium members for free
- Over 3 million messages sent a day
- Premium perks include photo verification and sending virtual gifts
Based in San Francisco, Zoosk is an online dating site dedicated to helping singles come into their own. It can be a fun flirting zone for young adults looking for a casual chat, or it can provide AI-driven compatibility matchmaking for mature singles who are more serious about their dating hopes.
Over 40 million singles have joined Zoosk in search of a potential partner. No, it may not be as popular as the top swiping apps, but its free membership offers a lot of fun perks to explore, and many couples have found their perfect match here.
- Quick signup for single men and women
- Free no-strings browsing of local personals
- Be the gatekeeper of your inbox with Safe Mode
OneNightFriend is a dating website where casual sex seekers can swipe, flirt, and match without judgment. The hookup network creates local matches based on shared interests and physical attraction. And you don’t need a profile picture or a social media login to get started with a free membership.
- Among the largest online sex and swinger communities
- Completely free no-obligation registration
- Live chat rooms and discussion forums open 24/7
You can take a walk on the wild side by joining Adult Friend Finder, a local sex site with over 105 million members. This hookup site provides instant connections to local hotties, and its network spans all 50 states.
How Do Popular Dating Apps Work?
Dating apps use innovative features to guide a single person to a more dynamic, enjoyable, and fulfilling love life. But you can’t make a meaningful connection without understanding how the matchmaking system works.
First, you’ll create a dating profile by providing a valid email address, phone number, Facebook login, or social media account. Then you’ll answer questions about where you live, what you look like, and what type of relationship you want. Sometimes you may have to write short responses to personal prompts that can range from “What are your pet peeves?” to “Describe yourself.”
Most dating apps require users to upload at least one profile picture. If you join through Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be able to pull photos from your albums. Dating apps do not post on social media platforms, so you don’t have to worry about your Facebook friends seeing your activity. Even Facebook Dating keeps its user activity separate from the mainstream Facebook feed.
Once your dating profile is complete and approved, you can start swiping through profiles that meet your dating preferences. Local dating apps tend to prioritize profiles based on location, so nearby singles will appear at the top of your swipe list.
Some dating sites and apps have premium features locked behind a paywall, so it’s sometimes necessary to pay to send unlimited messages or swipe on profiles outside your city limits.
Are Popular Dating Apps Safe to Use?
It’s perfectly natural to have safety concerns when it comes to online dating. You are meeting a stranger online, and that can come with an inherent risk of encountering a catfisher, romance scammer, or fake profile. However, savvy online daters can learn to spot the red flags and keep themselves safe while browsing a legit app or site.
First of all, it’s important to question and verify your online crush’s identity. Don’t just blindly agree to every match and chat request. And don’t leave the security of the online dating app or site. For instance, if a new person is trying to convince you to communicate on WhatsApp or Yahoo messaging rather than staying on the app or exchanging phone numbers, that should raise some important questions as to why. If a person refuses to join you on a video date or phone call, that could also be a sign that he or she has something to hide.
Always vet a potential date before you agree to meet on a first date. It’s a good idea to conduct a quick search on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, or even Twitter to see if you can find a digital footprint. If you cannot find any social media information, you may be dealing with someone who is using a fake name or false identity.
A single woman should be especially cautious when arranging a first date in person. Always meet at a public place where you feel comfortable. Do not get in your date’s car for any reason. And make sure at least one friend or family member knows where you are going.
Even on the safest dating sites, singles should always exercise sound judgment and think through their online dating choices before diving into a new relationship with a stranger.
What Can You Search for on a Popular Dating App?
Dating apps have search filters for all sorts of desirable qualities, dating standards, and dealbreakers. The typical app will have filters based on age, gender, and distance from you. You can meet local singles by adjusting the mile radius in your settings. Some swiping apps also have premium filters based on education, income, appearance, and background.
The Grindr app has promised to remove its ethnicity filters in response to complaints from Black Lives Matters advocates. This feature is currently available to Grindr Xtra members only.
Match Group, which operates Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, and other popular dating apps, has opted to keep ethnicity filters active due to the fact that it helps like-minded singles from similar backgrounds find one another.
How Do I Choose the Best Dating App?
Don’t overthink this. We put some effort into mapping the best local dating apps, and any of the apps on this list should be able to jump-start your love life within a few swipes and matches.
Our recommendation is to stick with the mainstream dating apps (Tinder, Match, Bumble, etc.) for your first foray into the local dating scene. Maybe enjoy the free chatting on Facebook Dating. Just to get your bearings and see how things work. You can always get more targeted and try niche apps for Latin singles, Black singles, Christian singles, Jewish singles, or other types of singles later on if you have a specific type of potential partner in mind.
Of course, if you’re looking for anonymous sex or married dating opportunities, the mainstream world will not be the right match group for you. Instead, it’s best to go for an affair dating site like Ashley Madison, which has the reputation as the best dating site for extramarital relationships.
- A uniquely open-minded dating network
- Privacy-conscious features
- Over 1.4 million matches per month
Ashley Madison is a popular dating site in certain circles of nonmonogamous daters. But it isn’t for everyone. It’s mostly geared toward casual daters who don’t want to put a lot of their personal information into the swiping scene.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find your perfect match on the first swipe — or even within the first week. Online dating can take time because it takes an element of luck. If you mean business and have serious intentions, be sure to complete your dating profile and swipe with purpose to up the caliber of your potential match list.
At the end of the day, no match algorithm can do all the work for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a casual hookup or a serious relationship — you have to put in some effort to attract a potential date on an iOS or Android app.
Which Niche Dating Apps are Most Popular?
Dating apps with 100% free messaging and unlimited likes tend to be the most popular overall. Because everyone likes free stuff. It’s a great way to give online dating a try and stay within a budget. However, a free dating app isn’t the best bet for everyone. Some single professionals have found they have a better experience and meet more quality dates when mingling on a premium dating site with pay-to-chat features.
Elite Singles is an example of an upscale dating platform that charges for chatting yet has won over doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other well-educated singles around the world.
- Over 2 million monthly users
- Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
- Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits
Singles have to take a lot into consideration when choosing a dating app. Some people prefer having a lot of free dating profiles at their fingertips, while others prefer curated matches, search filters, and compatibility ratings.
It’s up to you to choose an app that makes you feel comfortable, fits within your budget, and provides the type of introductions that spark your interest.
Where Can I Meet a Queer Person Online?
Many online dating sites and dating apps have begun expanding to be more inclusive in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation. For instance, the Tinder app has nine sexual orientation options available, including queer and fluid. Nonbinary Tinder users can be out and proud when seeking a potential partner.
However, some queer singles feel better about their swiping odds on an LGBTQ+ dating app, and we don’t blame them. Apps like Grindr, HER, Lex, and SCRUFF were designed to meet the needs of the queer community. A gay man or queer woman can meet like-minded singles by going on a niche site or app with nonbinary dating options.
Which Apps Allow Video Chat & Virtual Dating?
During the coronavirus pandemic, demand for video date features has skyrocketed, and many mobile dating apps have risen to the challenge.
Ironically, one of the oldest dating sites was among the first to adapt to lockdowns and incorporate video dating features. As of 2020, eharmony has given premium members the chance to engage in a private video conversation without having to use Zoom or Skype. They can send a video chat invite through the eharmony website and mobile app.
- Over 2 million people have found love here
- Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
- Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals
The online dating industry has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Video dates and voice chat messages have become more common, particularly in big cities such as New York City.
Even after social distancing has faded out of society in North America, video dating has remained popular among singles who want to get to know a person face to face without having to shell out money on a cup of coffee, dinner, or drinks.
High-Tech Apps Can Introduce You to the Local Dating Scene
Mapping the best dating apps isn’t something you can do with a cursory glance on Reddit or Twitter. It takes serious investigation into the online dating statistics and local trends influencing where singles go for a little swiping action.
Our report of the most popular dating apps by state took time to map out and get exactly right. Whether you’re a college student or a senior single, you can use these reviews to scout the best app (or at least the most popular app) in your region or in neighboring states, and it should give you plenty of opportunities to meet local singles.
The online dating world is a thriving, bustling, and fast-changing place, and there’s no need to stick with just one dating website or mobile app throughout your swiping experience. We recommend that singles try multiple free dating apps to explore new romantic frontiers and maximize their time online. Best of luck out there!