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Online dating has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry and the Internet "may be altering the dynamics and outcome of marriage itself," said the study by U. researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

However, some experts took issue with the findings because the survey was commissioned by e Harmony.com, the dating site that attracted one quarter of all online marriages according to the research.

Cacioppo acknowledged being a "paid scientific advisor" for the website, but said the researchers followed procedures provided by the Journal of the American Medical Association and agreed to oversight by independent statisticians.

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Even if you've never spent time on a dating website, the odds are good that some of your friends have.Roughly 42% of Americans know someone who dates online and more and more couples’ love stories start from the click of a mouse.Around 38% of those who are currently single and looking reported using dating websites or apps to meet potential mates.While adults of all ages can be found on dating sites, it's the millennial generation that tends to dominate the virtual singles scene.Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites.

Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 2005.Here are 23 statistics to get your heart pounding: Meeting people online is a lot more common than you might think. An estimated 66% of them have gone on at least one date with someone they met through a dating site.A growing number of men and women who are looking for love give online dating the thumbs up.Online dating is also relatively popular among the college-educated, as well as among urban and suburban residents.And 38% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.Instead of interacting with the people around her, she chose to search for a companion elsewhere online.