The price of love: British singles now spend £5 billion a year on dates

published on 24. Feb 2017

More Brits than ever are dating, and they’re splashing more cash in the process

 March 2016

  • Match’s fourth annual ‘Love Economy’ study finds British singles spend an average of £1,148 on dating each year
  • Average UK date now costs £127 – almost twice as much as anywhere else in Europe
  • Dating’s contribution to UK economy tops £5 billion for first time
  • Number of ‘active daters’ in Britain increased by 46% in one year, showing the impact of mobile dating on participation


While we may not have a reputation as romantics, when it comes to splashing the cash on dates Brits are way out in front of our continental counterparts, and showing no signs of slowing down. Research by Match and the Centre of Economic Business Research (Cebr) has found that dating is now contributing more than £5 billion per year to the UK economy, and that the number of Britons going on dates has increased dramatically over the past year.


Match’s fourth annual ‘Love Economy’ study found that the average British date now costs a total of £127. This puts Brits at the forefront of date-related spending, with the second-placed Dutch spending £49 per date, and the frugal Germans £40*.  With the average British dater going on 18 dates per year, it means British singles are now shelling out £1,148 each per year on entertaining potential partners.


And it’s not just in spending that Brits have upped their dating game. Around 81 million dates took place in Britain in 2015, compared to 67 million in 2014: an uplift of 21 per cent. Similarly, 33 per cent of the British singles now say that they are actively dating, compared to just 23 per cent last year. This 46 per cent increase means that one in 11 Britons is now dating, showing the effect of mobile dating apps during the course of 2015.



Category 2015 – total national date-related spend per year (pounds) 2014 – total national date-related spend per year (pounds)
Entertainment, restaurants, pubs and bars £2,810,000,000 £2,210,000,000
Clothes £800,000,000 £814,000,000
Transport £405,000,000 £344,000,000
Hairdressers / beauty salon £303,000,000 £228,000,000
Gifts £280,000,000 £175,000,000
Eating in £222,000,000
Cosmetics £219,000,000 £158,000,000
Contraceptives £126,000,000 £119,000,000
TOTAL £5.16 billion £4.05 billion

The research showed that overall expenditure on dating went up by £1.1 billion, with the biggest increase on entertainment, restaurants, pubs and bars, which accounted for 54 per cent of the total expenditure. After this, the UK spends 26 per cent of their date-related funds on clothing and beauty products. And a new category for this year’s study reflects the rise of the stay-at-home date, with Brits spending £222 million on eating in.


Karl Gregory, Managing Director Northern Europe, said: “Match’s research highlights the growing importance of dating to the UK economy. Brits spend almost double their European counterparts on dates, which is a great thing for singles and for UK PLC. With mobile dating becoming the most prominent way to date it’s no surprise the number of active daters in the UK has seen a huge leap, with singles upping their spending to impress on the dating scene.”





Notes to editors:

*Exchange rates calculated using 2015 averages

All calculations were made by the Centre of Economic Business Research (Cebr), based on an economic analysis of the TNS, Nov 2014 and Nov 2015 and Lovegeist 2015 and 2016 survey, which sampled around 4,500 active daters in the 2014 survey and just over 3,600 active daters in the 2015 survey throughout Germany, France UK, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. The surveys have been supplemented with official statistics on the adult population and consumer spending in each country.

About Cebr:

Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd (Cebr) is an independent economics and business research and consulting practice. Cebr uses economics and econometrics, surveys, qualitative research, expert interviews, computer modelling and scenario planning to help clients understand their environment and forecast changes in it.

Over the past 22 years the Centre for Economics and Business Research has established itself as one of the UK’s leading economics consultancies. Cebr provides high-quality independent research to clients in a wide range of sectors including technology, financial services, business services, construction, rail, telecoms and retail.

About Match: 

As the most successful dating service in the UK, 1 in 2 online daters* have used Match and 1 in 5 singles who met their partner online, met on Match*.   As the number 1 dating for young online daters**, Match continues to empower singles to meet exciting and interesting people that you would not otherwise have met.

Match offers members more ways to meet, including singles events located in 32 cities, one of the reasons it’s been voted as the under 35’s number 1 choice for great singles night out**.  It’s also available on all mobile platforms making it the perfect dating companion for busy singles on-the-go.

As a founding member of the Online Dating Association (ODA), Match is committed to providing a safe and confidential community for its members.


Brands2Life for match, Ollie Edwards / Hannah Milne,, Tel: 020 7592 1200


About Match Launched in 1995, Match is a leading online dating brand in the UK, offering a wide array of features and services.
Through the Match app, singles have all the means to meet other singles ready for a real relationship, via Live and Audio discovery features, or IRL Singles Events. Combining technological innovation, efficiency, support (during LiveCoaching sessions) and Customer Care, Match continually offers new services to spark real connections.
As a founding member of the Online Dating Association (ODA), Match is committed to providing a safe and confidential community for its members.

Match is operated by Meetic and its affiliated companies in Europe, which are part of Match Group, a leading provider of digital technologies designed to help people make meaningful connections. For more information, visit
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