Online Dating Statistics: Religion and Race

The online dating website OkCupid has a rather fascinating blog, OkTrends, written by two of the four mathematics majors who founded the site.

Still in it’s infancy the blog has a few fascinating posts studying data gleamed from their expansive user base.

Starting out with a brief look at their matching algorithm and the control group used for their studies, here’s data on how different religions ‘match’ on the site. Conclusions, taken verbatim from the post:

  • Jews and Agnostics get along better with people. Jewish men, in particular, have an above average match percentage with every religious group. They even match Muslim women better than Muslim men do.
  • Muslims of both sexes and Hindu men get along worse.
  • Catholics are more universally liked than Protestants.
  • The less serious you are about religion, the better liked you are, even by very religious people.

The analysts also noted how Muslims and Protestants on the site tend to be more intense about their beliefs than other religions, and Jews and Agnostics are by far the least serious.

Another sensitive issue tackled through the magic of online dating statistics is that of race and the reply rates between them. Some more observations:

  • Black women are […] the most likely to reply to your first message. In many cases, their response rate is one and a half times the average, and overall black women reply about a quarter more often.
  • White men get more responses.
  • White women prefer white men to the exclusion of everyone else.
  • Asian and Hispanic women prefer [white men] even more exclusively [than white women].
  • Men don’t write black women back [as] often than they should (statistically speaking, obviously).
  • Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.
  • Even though white males get the most replies, they respond about 20% less often than non-white males.
  • Between 2 and 7% of males and females of all races believe interracial marriage is a bad idea.
  • Around 20% of males and females of all races, except whites, have a racial background/skin colour preference.
  • 40% of white males and 54% of white females have this preference.

It’s worth noting the following:

Just because a group has low match percentages, even across the board, that does not mean they are bad people. It just means that they’re harder to please. The converse is also true. […] In any event, please keep in mind that each individual has designed his own matching criteria, so the poor-matching groups aren’t failing some outsider’s imposed system. Why, for example, Hindu men would match worst with Hindu women is a mystery.