How Races and Religions Match in Online Dating

September 29th, 2009 by Christian Rudder

This week, we’re going to take a step back from examining messages to your matches and take a look at matching itself. We’ll slice OkCupid’s data on compatibility by religion, race, and other factors, and by the end we’ll have some unsettling conclusions on how people match and interact online. But first, I want to explain something important.

What Does It Mean To “Match” Someone?

All OkCupid users create their own matching algorithms, so when we determine who matches who, we’re just crunching the numbers people give us.
A match percentage between two people is an expression of how well they might get along.
A match percentage between two people is a condensed, yet statistically valid, expression of how well they might get along. 75% is very high, 45% is very low, and 60.2% is the site-wide average. If, for example, a couple match each other 71%, it means they are likely to like each other, based on their own individual definitions of what makes a person cool, sexy, and attractive, not ours. I point this out now so that, below, when we claim that Jewish women are easier to get along with than Christians, you don’t blame us, you blame Jesus.

We discuss matching more at the end of this post, if you’re interested or nerdy. Now let’s move on.

The Zodiac and Other Beliefs

Since he’s a Pisces and I’m a Virgo, Chris and I of course think the Zodiac is total bullshit, and it was very gratifying to have the data bear this out. Here are the grouped match percentages for a random pool of 500,000 users. Astrological sign has no effect whatsoever on how compatible two people are.

We’re showing you this table, as dull as it is, because the uniformity neatly illustrates how beefy our data set is. There are 144 pools considered above, and they all match the mean plus or minus 0.5%. Our next table again aggregates the preferences of those 500,000 random users, but it shows stronger feelings. Red indicates mutual dislike and green, mutual like. For brevity, and because that’s where we have by far the most data, all the tables on this page display data for straight men and women only.

The numbers on the perimeter of the table are the weighted average match percentage, a measure of group likability, for each column or row. Here’s what we see:

  • 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, which I find both a hilarious irony and a somewhat sad reflection on the fact that Muslim males don’t seem to be doing very well. The data also cast an interesting light on the Jewish people’s history as a persecuted people: the underlying facts indicate an intrinsic mainstream likability, yet Jews have not been, and in some places still aren’t, “liked.” We’ll investigate a similar dichotomy in the second half of this post when we look at matching by race.
  • Muslims of both sexes and Hindu men get along worse. Now is a good time to stress that 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: the above chart is not evidence that Jews or Agnostics are better than the rest of us. Just better liked. 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.
  • Catholics are more universally liked than Protestants. While neither Christian group has many extremes of like/dislike, Protestant Christians only truly match well with other Christians. Catholics have above average match percentages with Hindus, Jews, and even Agnostics. Looks like Vatican II is working, guys!

Get Serious, Or Don’t

When we change our question from “What do you believe?” to “How strong do you believe it?” we get a much more orderly color pattern, and we also unlock some of the mysteries of the previous table. Below we plot people by their attitude about religion, as selected on their profile page.

As it turns out, people who hold their beliefs lightly are much better liked, even by people who are themselves serious. Weird huh? While it’s true that the most serious women believers slightly prefer their men to not be “laughing about it”, every other slice of this data indicates that the less serious (or more flexible?) you are about your religious beliefs, the better you get along.
The less serious you are about religion, the better liked you are, even by very religious people.
Please note that when I say “religious beliefs,” I’m talking about the full spectrum of beliefs, from Atheism to Orthodoxy, so don’t take this as anti-god; I also realize that “getting along” is hardly the purpose behind most people’s theological attitudes. Nonetheless, I think it’s interesting that even a man who’s “very serious” about his religion and has presumably designed his matching algorithm around this fact is still more compatible with the women who are laughing about it.

This information goes some way in explaining our first religion table: in our data pool, Muslims and Protestants tend to be more intense about their beliefs than the others, and Jews and Agnostics are by far the least serious. Here’s the first chart, replotted to include overall seriousness in blue.

Race

Ah, race. If religion is a minefield, then race is a field that’s just one giant mine. But luckily, our match-by-race table isn’t nearly as, well, colorful as the religion ones.

As you can see, there are slight matching biases here, but nothing too dramatic. It’s not going to make many people excited to hear that, for example, white people tend to be better liked, (or, if you want to think reciprocally, do more liking) than the other races, or that black and Indian men are less liked/liking, but, still, those differences are small compared to what we saw with religion. In addition, it’s entirely possible that most of the discrepancies might be just reflect different religious attitudes across the races.

More than anything this table shows the overall compatibility of all races—indicating that in a perfect world, yes, we could all just get along. Yet we don’t. And, in this way, it marks the perfect transition point in our discussion. In the real world people largely choose who to get along with, and even who to get to know.As I said in the beginning of this post, match percentage is an excellent predictor of how well two people might get along; however, in the real world people largely choose who to get along with, and even who to get to know. In online dating, we can measure this choice by looking at how often people reply to actual messages from people of the various races, and then contrast that rate with the underlying compatibilities. And that’s exactly what we’ll do in the second half of this post, which will be up next week. Look once more at the match-by-race chart above and then look at the reply-rate-by-race table below.

It’s a glimpse at the jagged terrain where we’ll be going:


Addendum, If You’re Interested: “Match Percentage”

We all know what it feels like to meet someone you really like, but, unfortunately, feelings are something web servers have trouble with. Therefore, our first goal with OkCupid was to quantify this elusive idea of “compatibility” so we could accurately suggest users to each other.

It’s not as simple as saying, Mary really likes hockey and Bob really likes hockey

It’s not as simple as saying, Mary really likes hockey and Bob really likes hockey, therefore they are a good match—which is how many dating sites work. What if instead Mary really likes being dominated during sex? If Bob also needs to be dominated, and good sex is important to them, Bob and Mary are terrible matches. In bed, at least, they both want their opposites.

This, and other thought experiments, eventually led us to a definition of compatibility that’s user-defined. After all:

  • You’re great in all kinds of ways we don’t understand.
  • You have specific needs we can’t possibly categorize.
  • You don’t want our advice, you want to meet people you’ll like.

In short, our method is this: we host an ever-changing database of user-submitted questions, covering every imaginable topic, from spirituality to dental hygiene. To build their own match algorithms, our users answer as many questions as they please (the average is about 230). When answering a question, a user also picks her how her ideal match would answer and how important the question is to her. It’s very simple, and it removes all subjectivity on our part. We simply crunch the numbers.

OkCupid is no more responsible for people’s match percentages than Microsoft Excel is responsible for their net worth.

So, for example, if two people match each other 69%, what it means is that they are very likely to like each other, based on their own definitions of what makes a person attractive, not ours. OkCupid is no more responsible for people’s match percentages than Microsoft Excel is responsible for their net worth. Again, our users write the match questions, choose which ones to answer, and determine how important each answer is. We just do the math. A very detailed explanation of exactly what math we do is in our FAAAQ.

157 Responses to “How Races and Religions Match in Online Dating”

  1. WhigBrew says:

    Is it possible that religion is a statistically significant variable in determining the likelihood someone answered fewer questions, and, therefore, is likely to have a lower ~maximum~ match percent with another person from ~any~ religion? Maybe those less religious are more empirical, and so answer more questions. Maybe when one is of a religion less prevalent in Anglican society, s/he is less likely to answer as many questions due to the higher likelihood that English is not her/his first language.

    If religion is statistically significant in relation to maximum match %, has this been taken into account in computing these cross-tabs? If not, does the comparison change if the sample includes only those who have answered as many questions as the average user?

  2. JD says:

    I agree with Matt – as a gay male, I find the male-female pairing data interesting from a social/cultural perspective, but it just doesn’t engage me in the same way. These posts feel incomplete when they don’t include the corresponding gay data. I realize that that would be more analysis to do, and make the posts longer, but please don’t leave us out :)

  3. 613 The Evil says:

    I believe you should include orthodox christians too, there are many already in the site. from eastern Europe for example. Personally I am from Greece, atheist though. Also the race classes is again too general, not all white or black people have the same culture, not even nearly. But anyway not so important, at least until your next part of the article. I think in religions you left out a number of major religions, like taoism, or orthodox christianity. Well nobody is perfect, certainly not okcupid. :)

  4. Frank says:

    Would you be suggesting that being liked by others is a good indication of the truthfulness of your religion?

  5. m says:

    Why is this analysis male-female only. I thought OKCupid was LGBT friendly. We want dates too! BOO

  6. VJ says:

    Instead of just relying on a numerical analysis, or “eye-balling” the numbers, and saying they’re different because they look different. you could run post hoc tests to determine whether the numbers differ significantly, in a statistical sense.

    Or are you already doing that by varying the color scheme in the tables?

  7. cj says:

    Obviously this statistical information is unbelievable interesting; unfortunately, people have general tendancy to assume what they see (anecdotal) is real, but as we know that can be – and usually is – but a small sample on the statistical distribution.

    I do have an actual question coming here: you have done an amazing job compiling this information and disseminating it in an viewable, interesting format…! Although these matrixes are large and somewhat complex – I would like to see how the compatibility structure changes if you were somehow able to overlap this information?

    I realize you may not have significant enough data to take into account weighting and various other factors, but it would be an interesting challenge for statistical guru’s such as yourselves.

  8. EL says:

    I’d be curious to see what the geographic distribution is for these 500,000 members and then see these same analyzes done on a geographic level. Would people who live in, for example, colder areas be nicer than people living in places with a warmer climate, or vice versa?

  9. Thomas says:

    For JD and 613 the Evil: I agree that it would be very interesting to see those numbers, relating to other religions and the gay community. However, from a statistical point of view, I’m not sure it would be useful. Given that only 1-10% of the population is gay (depending on the source you quote), and given that less than one percent of people are Taoist, and 5% are orthodox christian, I’m not sure it would be useful data.

    I agree fully that they are important groups from a societal perspective, but from a statistics perspective, the numbers would probably just be noise.

    As for WhingBrew’s comments, I agree. okcupid, would you release the raw data so that we can do a regression analysis and normalization? That also might clear up some of the details brought up by JD and 613, if some of the noise from those sample sets could be eliminated.

    Fascinating stuff, though! Nice work!

  10. Keith says:

    Another great article. Something like the previous one on word usage but about subject lines would be tops.

  11. Pat-Trip Dyspenzer says:

    This is all very interesting stuff, but you & your site leave out one group entirely: I am blind, and cannot even sign up for OKCupid. The signup form contains a visual verification (CAPTCHA) code. It may block spambots, but it also blocks me from completing the form.

    Instead, please consider implementing some of the techniques described here:

    Thanks!

  12. Pat-Trip says:

    Uh, that link should be: http://webaim.org/blog/spam_free_accessible_forms/ Hope it worxorz this time!

  13. Eduardo says:

    http://www.andromedical.com/world-penis-sizes I think this would be a good addition to your discussion…

  14. SadAsianMalel says:

    Based off the last chart, I just need to uncheck Asian to get more responses…

  15. guest says:

    This is so full of it No way would I put I am Atheist or agnostic
    I am Christian threw and threw and If people don’t like me because of that its their problem not mine its their loss for judging me not mine
    plus I don’t like people that say Christian and laughing about it thats just as bad as being Athiest or agnostic !

  16. guest2 says:

    Speaking as a Hindu-Male I am LMFAO. :) It’s a well known myth among Indian origin men that Indian origin women actively select against us (at least outside of India).

    I’m interested in the break down of numbers when you factor in Vegetarian vs Non-Vegetarian. My choice of diet was an automatic knock out for who I would date.

  17. Silent Male says:

    I think that it is perilous to presume a correlation between religious affiliation and linguistic skills when speaking of datasets that self-select like this one.

    Membership of OKC presumes a certain level of familiarity with the Internet. That generally implies (given the nature of the beast) a level of comfort with the English language, that may be an outlier in the given member’s native culture.In other words, members of OKC might not be representative of the population they come from.

    Second, many traditional cultures, especially India, rely a lot on arrange marriages. So, dating of this sort might be a cultural anathema to sizeable sections of that population, but by the fact of their membership, these members are cultural outliers as well.

    Third, a lot of OKC members of these less well-known religions live in the West and are acculturated to varying amounts. That would make a mockery of any correlation you hint at.

    My own religion is bigger, in terms of numbers, than Judaism. However, owing to misunderstandings, lack of suitable knowledge, low overall numbers in the West, etc. it is quite common for people of my faith to be ignored in most Western studies. I do not aim to complain about that, as I am perfectly content being referred to as “Other” or “Alien”, but it does effect the way such statistics are seen by members of such religious groupings.

  18. SoreThumb says:

    I think the biggest problem with the ‘relationship’ between astrological signs only talks about the “In Theory” match percentage. You mention this in the final paragraph.

    Next week, I hope your charts include:
    – a chart that shows reply percentage based on astrological signs, and
    – a chart that comes back with average ‘status change’ time (EG: Single, open, closed) when able to be connected to a user. (It’s not great, but it’s all you got.)

    I hope you can come back with those charts, because IMHO, they’d be the best determinants for the success of such belief systems.

    I want it to be next week NOW, btw! :(

  19. Sasha says:

    “Astrological sign has no effect whatsoever on how compatible two people are.”

    You’re attributing too much validity to your match methods, and you’ve oversimplified astrology. My husband joined okcupid for awhile, and do you have any idea how low our match was? One of my best friends also joined okc for fun, and we also got a very low match percentage. As far as I’m concerned, the match number is a way to screen people who aren’t ok with polyamory, don’t brush their teeth, and have political beliefs that are too different from mine. I also answer lots of other questions too. And you’d be amazed at the vast number of unattractive and uninteresting people who get a high match percentage with me–I do find that it has *some* relevance, just not all that much.

    Meanwhile, what I understand of astrology (sun and planet signs) describes me and my husband, and most of my friends, incredibly well. It describes the one significant incompatibility between my husband and myself–which your questions could hardly pick up on. It describes the character of the different relationships I’ve had. There’s a clear astrological correlation with those past relationships which left me deeply connected but confounded–because I am both compatible and yet also incompatible with certain qualities–and those relationships that are easy but a bit dry and superficial.

    The advantage of the planets is that they divide the self into external social self, general primary self, general intimate emotional inner self, intellect self, romantic sexual feminine home work self, romantic sexual masculine home work self, and then on to more subtle aspects that I don’t pay attention to… generational and so on. And they don’t ask you what you think you’re like, they define it ‘objectively’, it’s simply up to you to say whether it rings true or not. And not only that, they don’t just give a yes/no option on each aspect of the personality as you do (or, to be fair, you usually divide it into four degrees), but there’s twelve options that are meaningfully different, not just different degrees of the same thing. However, without this division of the personality, astrology is less than one dimensional… so just matching people by sun sign is pretty thin. Although a very incompatible sun sign match will cause challenge in a relationship, if the planetary signs are very compatible they can easily make up for it–and incompatible planetary signs can even more easily ruin a compatible sun sign match. This isn’t just jargon, this is stuff that is reasonably simple to understand when it’s applied, and it’s all descriptions that you can relate to and judge for yourself whether the specific details and overall portrait sound accurate.

    PS I think horoscopes are mostly nonsense though. There’s too much to parse, whereas personality is a more manageable medium than events and experience.

  20. Sasha says:

    To put it another way, astrology is a (the) match-making system that is thousands of years old, versus okcupid’s system which is, what, ten years old? You can oversimplify it, and you can focus on the work of astrologers who aren’t very good at it, and you can misunderstand it, …or you could see it as a potential resource. Not only the number crunching by which astrology arrives at its conclusions, but how does it shape and describe its conclusions, how does it define the human being and human relationship? Our contemporaries may often turn ancient, honed inventions into drivel… but you gotta remember that all of humanity’s available inventiveness and intelligence over many generations went into these inventions. We shouldn’t accept ancient ‘knowledge’ wholesale and uncritically, but it’s also our loss if we casually assume that there’s absolutely nothing there that’s still worth using.

    Also, speaking of which, I was surprised to see that you didn’t include “other” in your religion breakdown.

  21. mfk says:

    “Guest” provides a perfect example of why the “serious Christians” are hard to get along with. 1) Totally missed the point of the article, 2) overly defensive and judgmental, 3) can’t spell. Lighten up, take some community college classes, and read the article again.

  22. Anonymous says:

    It looks as though this is just an analysis of how well your data correlates internally. In other words, you have related self-reported religion to your computed match percentage, but there’s no correlation to how well people match In Real Life. What I really want to see is the relationship between your match number and the likelihood of a second date. That’s a lot harder to get, but without it, this other stuff is only ooh-ahh graphs.

  23. bigmouth says:

    perhaps some of these effects are due to class? I’d guess that jewish and agnostic males would have better education and be coming from “better” social backgrounds

  24. alefbet says:

    I love these data, especially the little asymmetries like hindu females vs. hindu males (or atheists), gives new perspectives on the workings of this world… I hope they’d make a similar analysis on income and/or education, might be equally interesting. In fact, I hope there’ll be a table of each variable, match percentage and reply rate side by side, straight and gay. Mmm, delicious data, lots of it…

  25. Eliza says:

    “Jews and Agnostics get along better with people.”

    I am wondering if the reason Jews are linked with agnostics here is because many people who list themselves as “Jewish” are actually agnostic in belief, but consider themselves culturally Jewish.

  26. Mike says:

    For those complaining about prescence of only heterosexual stats..

    I’ll bet there are so little homosexual stats, compared to the heterosexual stats… (one tenth the size? one twentieth the size?) that comparatively much less can be concluded from the homosexual set of statistical data.

  27. Impatient says:

    Fascinating stuff. Now, where’s my flow chart?

  28. dark says:

    Where are the Satanists…?

  29. Raymond says:

    I would like to comment on a few points.

    First I believe whole heartedly that it is pointless to get worked up or emotional over reports like this. These are numbers, and these numbers have a life of their own. The next time they are counted they will be different and again after that. Its the pattern that displays a trend. What you choose to do with this information is entirely your choice.

    Next. I have seen at least one other who tried to point out, in a very long winded way… that this data is biased. No not intentionally that I can see. But there are a few variables that might show a much different picture and some of those grey charts might not be so grey after all. Infact I would be inclined to believe that a sampling of internet users as we are is totally different from those who do not use the internet to date. I believe that we are a more tolerant group meaning lots of Neutral numbers. But in the real world opinions are far stronger when it comes to first impressions and selective bonding.

    Additional data not suggested was taking into consideration fundamental differences in how men and women are programed. Most obvious being sexual drive. It seemed obvious that men, of certain religions might take theirs serious but could really careless if a woman takes her religion serious or not. I believe with them the reason is quite simple and infact very easy to observe in any high-school or college town. Simply put, what she thinks is irrelevant, as long as she lets him take her pants off. Women with religious fathers are often programed to take religion so seriously that they would refuse a perfect match based on that one trait alone. Its really that simple. Though sometimes biology still wins the fight…

    Some one also noted that theres was no data regarding any coupling other than Strait Couples. I believe that regardless of how much data they have currently this likely would have doubled or tripled the size of the charts and possibly created un-necessary questions via introducing room for confusion on the charts.

    I would venture to say that for keeping the point sharp and quick this effort was well done. It is getting easier and easier to see how the system works and how they derive their matches. Still, nothing they have explain thus far explains how certain statistical impossibilities exist. The impossible matches. Those who have 90% or better matches but are obviously incompatible. One would need to imply that some one has been dishonest in their questions?

    Personally, by the numbers, I have a very high rating with almost every one. Yet, I am a statistical nightmare, because for me -they are nothing but a tease. Because in reality, my statistics are like playing the final level of the classic Marble Madness, “Everything you know is Wrong”

  30. tjohnson4 says:

    So, when is there going to be a statistical analysis of the success rates of nerds, geeks, dorks and normies?

  31. Matt says:

    As many problems as these conclusions have – pointed out in many comments – I think what most needs to be addressed or attempted to account for is that the OKC community is self-selecting in a very dramatic way.

    I’m not sure which statistics could be used to address and explore this, but I think it is one skewing factor that really ought to be addressed.

    Fascinating post though, as always.

  32. Shiva137 says:

    I’d really love to see the breakdown for match percentage by each religion’s attitude; it’d be interesting to see the subtle nuances of it all. Admittedly, that winds up being a monster of a thing to try to visually represent, but I, and I think many others, would enjoy it.

  33. Clyde says:

    So the only analysis you seem to leave out here and on previous posts is overall percentage of, say, Muslim or Hindu males, on the site. My thinking here is that many of the user-generated questions are slanted towards the “agnostic” side of house, and thus don’t really help very religious peoples’ matching rates that much.

    My guess of course is that very few users of OKC are Muslim, and hence it’s in very subtle ways slanted against them. OKC seems to be, on the other hand, very highly slanted towards educated, non-religious people on the coasts. This could explain the biases towards Jewish, agnostic, and Catholic people.

  34. Poulantzas' Poolboy says:

    The Marxist in me wants to know what a grid based upon social class would look like. But, of course, the subjectivity of that descriptor makes such an analysis basically impossible. A chart based on “income” would be possible. But “income” is not coterminous with “class”, and I’d guess that more people either decline to answer or choose to answer irreverently the “income” question than the details related to religion.

    But still…

    A “political beliefs” chart would also be somewhat interesting if possible; but might also verge on tautology.

    And obviously there’s the massive underlying assumption that “match percentage” accurately reflects how much one person will ‘like’ another. My experiences with the site suggest that the relationship between those variables is hardly proportional.

    And *then* there’s the question of how you break down / unpack the idea of “liking” someone, and of what that concept consists in…

    Interesting study nevertheless.

  35. DnBStevO says:

    All RIGHT! Agnostics and Atheists are leading the way! Along with Jews..
    That makes me feel good. Sweet!

  36. Deven says:

    The math behind the match percentage has been explained well, though it’s not clear why each importance level is 5x the previous one, except for the 10x jump from “a little important” to “somewhat important”.

    I want to know how the friend and enemy percentages are calculated. Why aren’t these calculations described in the FAAAQ??

  37. SingleNicaraguan says:

    Amazing, interesting that the statistics result in pretty bland trends… probably not surprising… they probably don’t want to insult any particular subset of users. I’d be interested in getting to know how many Muslims actually use the site. I think the fact that sample sizes weren’t used throughout the entire post is shady. Also their methodology should really incorporate their compatibility percentage plus the incidence of messaging and chatting between those highly rated. This would relate a form of “successful” matching… because you don’t talk to someone that you aren’t interested in at least befriending.

  38. JAllanM says:

    Very interesting! The conclusions about the Jews however is lacking an important element. Orthodox Jews would not visit let alone use a site like OkCupid. If they did Jews would not appear as flexible or sociable with those outside of their belief system. Actually, this probably applies to any rigid group be it political, religious or societal. I chose to comment about Jews because being one myself I am well acquainted with our ways.

  39. Kali says:

    What a post! I approve of these breakdowns, and lol’d heartily.

    Hey, “Silent Male”… if your verbosity is always this elegant, you should drop me a message. ;)

  40. russruggles says:

    Fascinating post! I’m not surprised about religiousity; but I have to admit, I’m at least a little surprised by the Zodiac stuff. Looking forward to the next post!

  41. z says:

    This is interesting because I’m quite positive I’ve picked up on racial disparity thing and I’m not surprised by any means. It doesn’t help that I live in a rich/yuppie area. Obviously, I have many a high match rate, but it doesn’t really apply because online dating sites are more of a “shopping site” to people. And yeah, majority of the time, it’s going to start with how you look. Why compromise when you can just press F5? It’s just how people are, though. Nothing new under the sun, I suppose. This just amused me because I was thinking of writing to okcupid about my experiences writing to females (in my case) who swear they want an “intelligent” or “witty” message and not just lame, thoughtless flirtation.

    Go ahead. I give you permission to fish through my outbox.

  42. Eclecticgrrl says:

    Good call “613 The Evil” up there. Okcupid doesn’t have a religion option for orthodox christians and it really should, there are tons in eastern europe (greece, russia, ukraine, etc) and also in the US.

  43. Tyler Young says:

    It would be interesting to see if gay and lesbians are more open to inter-racial dating and/or inter-faith dating. That’s one reason why leaving out gays and lesbians is bothersome, we’re left wondering. Another is being inclusive because people like me are going to stop reading these things if the most interesting thing about them (the part that reflects yourself) is always ignored.

  44. Alex Gibson says:

    May I ask why Other was not included in the charts on religion? Those of us who are other may want to see how we stack up with the other religions.

  45. shy_at_first625 says:

    I would expect that the Match % by religious attitude would be affected by the modal answer. For example, if the site is largely populated by people who are “Laughing about it”, then a chart similar to the one posted would be expected, while if the site is largely populated by people who are “Very serious about it”, the chart you posted would be surprising, while its inverse would be expected.
    If the men are largely “Laughing about it”, while the women are largely “very serious about it”, we should expect a far different dispersion of colors.
    How about adding percentages to the rows and columns so we can see how the chart matches up to the logical expectations?
    The same weighting of the data should be expected in the religion chart. Depending on the overall percentages of people from various religions, finding someone of a similar faith (or lack thereof) will be more or less likely depending on the percentage of site users from that religion. Please include weighting factors like these in your charts.

  46. Bryce says:

    The complete irrelevance of astrology made me smile. You would expect that if your zodiac sign had any claim on your personality, then you would see some variance. People born under Aries should be more athletic, and match other Aries’ better, for example.

    Hell, I even expected a small amount of matching, just out of self-fulfillment. If a person believes in astrology, and thinks that being a Libra makes them more thoughtful and analytical, they’d tailor their profiles to accentuate that. But no, there’s nothing. Nothing at all. Complete, utter statistical irrelevance. Awesome.

    Also, to the people who are either planning on altering their profiles to “make themselves more likable”, or getting indignant because OKCupid is telling them to do so, you’re missing the point. First, a statistical average of your “demographic” doesn’t necessarily mean that you yourself are low-matching*. If it does, changing demographics isn’t going to raise your average; it will just lower the averages of the categories you move into. Lastly, if the point of OKC is to find people who YOU will like, then there’s really no point to being anyone but yourself.

    * Hey, OKC! Could we have a way of finding out what our individual, site wide match percent is? That would be neat.

  47. Larry Brickey says:

    I’d like to see where age fits in, too.

  48. Lady Payne says:

    I personally know that my responses to persons interested in me are never based on religion, income race…more to do with age and location.

    It is however unfortunate the number of pretty young boys who are looking for a mommy…

    We all must admit that right behind looks, intellect and the personality that someone is able to exude through the written word dictates our responsiveness to anyone winking, writing or IMing.

  49. Dale West says:

    @Thomas – while only 1-10% of the population is gay, studies show only about 1-10% of the population is absolutely heterosexual.

    That said, there are a disproportionate number of hetrosexual males due to cultural influence and many of us have reported our selves other than what we are in order to influence response rates by not a preferred dating gender, but a preferred responding gender on dating sites.

    OKC should consider same gender compatibility if only because statistically 80% of their users are inherently bisexual.

  50. Leslie says:

    First preservation is what the Lord will provide you with. You are always loved as long as you know that he is first. When you are right with Jesus and you have lived your life accordinginly and especially as a wonderful and giving person. Always remember that anyone who leaves you is the loser. He will one day wake up and pray that someone like you will enter his or her life. However there is only one you. Love yourself and give only to those who give love back in return