The Average Dating Age Range in Each U.S. State

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There are lots of ways to judge a potential partner. For many Americans, age plays a very small role in that decision-making process. But others have a preferred dating age range that they take quite seriously. For this campaign, we conducted a survey to learn more about the dating age range preferences of the average American.


Our survey ran for 10 days in February 2022 and received over 3,500 responses overall. We asked questions about the largest age gaps people have had in relationships, if a person’s income or occupation affects how young or old people will date, and if people would rather date someone older or younger than themselves.

Dating Age Range Insights

A table depicting some of the most popular dating age range preferences in the U.S.

The people of Delaware and Minnesota strongly prefer to date someone their own age, but there are actually more states that prefer a partner that’s a little bit older (1-5 years). The second least popular age preference is partners that are 1-5 years younger, with only New Mexico’s population exceeding a 20% preference for partners in that age range, while Mississippi and Oklahoma are the only two states that have a population of more than 15% that prefers a much older partner (6-10 years).  

Dating Age Ranges Overall

Two charts depicting some of the most popular dating age range limits in the U.S.

The trend of dating older being preferred to dating younger continues when we switch from asking our respondents for their preferred dating age range to asking our respondents how young or old they’d be willing to date. Over 50% say they would date someone 1-5 years older while not even 45% say they’d date someone 1-5 years younger, and 30% say they’d date someone that’s up to 6-10 years older while just 20% say they’d date someone that’s 6-10 years younger.

Generational & Gender Age Preferences

A table depicting some of the dating age range preferences of various genders and generations

The different genders and generations each have their own specific thoughts regarding dating age ranges. For example, while men were split about 50/50, 70% of women agreed that dating someone too young (when compared to their preferred dating range) is probably going to mean dating someone that’s immature. Meanwhile, about three in four men prefer to date someone younger than themselves.

Divorce is an interesting point of contention between generations. For example, the overwhelming majority of Baby Boomers (89%) don’t mind if a partner has been divorced before, but over one in four Millennials (28%) say it would make them reconsider pursuing a relationship with an individual if said individual had been divorced before.

Would you Rather Meet Someone Online or in Person?

A table depicting the online and offline dating preferences of the various genders and generations

Even in the age of the internet, the majority of people prefer to meet others in person rather than online regardless of gender or generation. For example, about 80% of both men and women prefer to meet someone in person, while just 20% prefer meeting online, and the furthest any of the generations get from those same percentages are Millennials (28% prefer to meet others online and 72% prefer in person) and Baby Boomers (85% prefer to meet in person and 15% prefer to meet online). 

However, you can’t always get what you want. Even though the majority of our respondents prefer to meet others in person, 22% of baby boomers, 32% of Gen Xers, 43% of millennials, and 38% of Gen Zers say they typically meet people online.

Closing Thoughts

As it turns out, maybe people out there do have a preferred dating age range, but at the end of the day, love is love. If and when you decide to make your 20-year-old partner or 55-year-old partner your one and only for the rest of your lives, do it with a beautiful engagement ring from Shane Co. With over 1,000 exclusive designs and customizable options that can fit any budget, there’s nowhere better to get the most important gift you’ll ever give.

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