Dating: Your ‘Race’ Counts! – Controversial Data from OkCupid

interracial dating
Sorry if the title was too explicit. But, by far, these are the most interesting (and controversial) statistics I’ve encountered lately. I was initially writing this text as part of the next article but it became so lengthy that I decided to make it a separate post.

All the data presented in this article are based on user behaviours and responses to questionnaires on OkCupid, a popular (but not the most popular) dating site in the US. So, before reading this, please keep in mind that the majority of the users of OkCupid are US based.

They analysed the message reply rate based on gender and race. The results they came out with were very interesting to say the least. The original article dates back to 2009 so it’s not exactly fresh, but I think it’s still valid.

How Race Affects Men in On-line Dating

The chart below shows how likely you will be to get replies from girls based on race.

male-to-female

As well as seeing that girls don’t reply to guys’ messages that often, you will notice a big disparity between different races.

White males get replies from 1 in 3.4 girls. They are the most popular group. They are particularly popular with Indian, Asian, Latin and white women.

Indian males get replies from only 1 in 4.8 girls on the other hand. They are the least popular group. Indian men have the lowest response rate from Indian girls.

You’ll find other interesting numbers by looking hard at this table. For example:

Asian men, while being quite unpopular, do rather well with Middle Eastern women who are the most popular group of women. If you are an Asian male, you have the least chance with Indian girls as the reply rate is a mere 18%, while white guys enjoy a 39% reply rate. However, the reply rate from Middle Eastern women to Asian men is 27%, which compares very well to the 28% reply rate of white guys, who are the champions of on-line dating.

Indian and other Asian girls are particularly selective. It’s especially interesting that their reply rate is very low to Indian and Asian men. On the other hand, they show a strong preference for white guys.

It’s also important to mention that black and native American women are very generous with their responses. It would seem black girls are almost colour-blind if they weren’t so harsh towards black men. I don’t know why they almost seem to avoid black guys.

One of the comments in the original article said that minority girls choose OkCupid because they want to date guys of other ethnic groups. According to that comment, they would go to other dating sites for specific races if they wanted to date guys of their own ethnicity. I wonder if this is true. But I don’t think this is necessarily the case because minority guys respond to minority girls equally well.

How Race Affects Women in On-line Dating

Here’s how likely you are to get replies from guys if you are a girl.

female to male

Now the situation is different here.

Middle Eastern women are the most popular. 1 in 2 men write back to them.

The least popular group is black women, to whom only 1 in 2.9 men reply. This is a big difference compared to Middle Eastern women. (I don’t know why guys don’t write back to black women. They are the ones most willing to write back. I think guys are missing a lot.)

White guys are exceptionally selective. Their reply rate is way below average. But when Middle Eastern women write to them, their reply rate will jump up to 47%. In fact, there’s no single category of men who can resist the charm of Middle Eastern girls.

Middle Eastern males are not picky at all. Their average reply rate is 49.7%. They are also doing rather well with girls too. Are all the women secretly dating Middle Eastern guys? One might argue that Middle Eastern are some of the hottest people on earth. Did you know that people got kicked out of the country for being too handsome in Saudi Arabia?

Also, white women are the second least popular of all. This is particularly interesting because their male equivalents are the most popular. Remember that white women are very selective too.

All the guys, except black guys, respond well to the girls of their own race. This is something very different from the previous chart. So minority guys are not on OkCupid to date different kinds of girls. They are definitely not there to date white girls (who are the majority) either.

What about gays and lesbians?

They also have same-sex statistics.

gay male

Middle Eastern are more popular than white guys. White guys are still popular, but Middle Eastern are even more so.

Indian and black guys are doing much better here even though they remain relatively unpopular.

Gay guys don’t avoid other guys of their own race. This is somewhat consistent with the girl-to-guy reply rate.

gay female

Lesbians are almost colour-blind. Out of all the charts we have seen, this one shows the weakest preference in terms of race. Please note the sample size of Indian women is very small so the numbers are not that reliable.

Lesbian girls don’t avoid women of their own race. This is very different from the men-to-women reply rate.

Apparently, gays and lesbians are more colour-blind than straight people.

People Have Strong Race Preferences When it Comes to Dating

We have seen that people tend to have strong race preferences in dating. You may argue that different races have different personalities, which result in the disparity in response rates.

Actually, OkCupid shows that there’s no significant difference between races in terms of match, which is based on answers that the users submit.

race and match

As you can see, race hardly affects how likely you are to be compatible with the other person.

So, is it really race itself that is in question?

You might still argue that the match rate doesn’t necessarily mean a high reply rate. This makes sense. People of different backgrounds might have different ways of writing messages which may or may not be well received by other people.

But there’s a correlation between match and reply rate. So a high match rate is supposed to mean a high reply rate.

correlation match reply

It is very likely that race is the factor that affects the response rate. (It’s still possible that there are other hidden factors though.)

In fact, 45% of the white people (40% of men and 54% of women) on OkCupid explicitly say that they prefer dating exclusively other white people.

same race preference

Apparently some people are quite conscious about dating exclusively.

It’s too bad that they didn’t compare the results state by state. I think that there will be some differences between the states. Diverse states can be more colour-blind.

By the way, gay people are much less exclusive when it comes to dating. Check out this one.

gay people less exclusive

How Do I See This Personally?

While I find this research very interesting, I don’t worry too much about it when it comes to my own dating life. There are several reasons:

  • The research subjects are mostly American – the majority of people on OkCupid are American. I would imagine that these results are not necessarily applicable to other countries. How about Brazil? France? Trinidad and Tobago? I bet the results would be quite different.
  • The results are nationwide – the numbers represent the whole nation, which includes urban and rural areas alike. I think that there would be weaker preferences in the areas where the population is more diverse.
  • 17% of women still reply – The worst reply rate on the tables is 17%, for the percentage of Asian girls who write back to black men. This is as low as it can get. But wait, 17% of women still reply! 1 in 5.8 doesn’t sound too hopeless. Likewise, 46% of the white women are still happy dating men with different backgrounds, which is not bad at all.
  • They are just statistics – everyone is different. If your personal experience tells a different story from these data, it’s completely normal. Let’s face it: some people are just popular regardless of their skin colour. (I wish I was one of them though.) So don’t get agitated if you happen to ‘disagree’ with the data. They are just numbers and don’t factor in any other variables that might play a huge role in dating.
  • Not enough samples for minorities – the majority of OkCupid users are white. For example, black people represent only 4.6% of the total female members in the last example. According to the US Census Bureau, the total black population of the US was 13.6% in 2010. Also, there are non-Americans on OkCupid too. There are simply too many other factors that are not taken into account.
  • OkCupid doesn’t necessarily represent the physical world accurately – texting is a very limited form of communication. There’s a lot more you can do in real life. Obviously, your success in dating depends on your overall attractiveness including your personality and social skills rather than a single race factor.

So ladies and gentlemen, don’t be discouraged if you are not in the most popular category. (Neither am I.) You can date whoever you want. You just have to try a little bit harder sometimes.

(All the source of the information in this article is here, unless specified otherwise.)

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25 thoughts on “Dating: Your ‘Race’ Counts! – Controversial Data from OkCupid

  1. Ken Law

    I would never date asian girls unless they have been tested for STD's.
    Study shows asian girls in the USA have the highest rate of STDs.

    Reply
      1. Ray

        Aw man I'm sick of this narrative. Some of us have been born and raised in Western countries (that goes for ALL races) and these stereotypes just do not hold true. I'm pretty sure I'm cleaner than most white guys I know, but that's anecdotal I guess. Can you please just do the world a favour and drop these negative connotations you have with people of different backgrounds? As an Indian bro born and raised in Canada I'm about as Western as you can get, and that same sentiment holds true for millions of people from different backgrounds across the Western world.

        Some stereotypes I've come across:
        All I eat is curry: Yes, this is true but I do not smell like it 24/7 like some would believe.
        I'm a nerd: Hell no (I will also add here that while Indian guys in the US are seen as nerdy, in Canada they're seen more like black people are in the US i.e. "gangsta" so that could also be a reason why)
        I'm unclean: I don't even know where this one comes from, most Indian houses I've been in are pretty damn clean although if your only experience with Indians are third-world foreigners there is a slightly larger chance this is true, but no more than any other race

        Even counting recent immigrants stereotypes like this don't always hold true. I feel bad for my immigrant bros across the West that prejudices like these are impeding their ability to intermingle and socialize. While race can sometimes be a determinate factor for one's demeanour and mannerisms, you're a lot more likely to find out what a person's all about by talking to them first instead of sticking an unfounded label to them. Being a uni student in a pretty diverse city I don't really have to deal with these pretty damaging stereotypes but I feel for the Indians/Asians/whatever across the US and in other not-so-diverse places that have to deal with this. It's not fair. Judge me by the quality of my character.

        Reply
    1. Jason

      You've just listed the category of women with the least amount of STDs. WTF? Bias based on personal experience or flatout lie because you're a racist?

      Reply
  2. tukkata

    this is just what happens outside the true Asia. in the true Asia, things happen otherwise. For example, in thailand, western men are rarely wanted and can date only dark thaitified women who are very ugly in thais' eyes (low class women, uneducated, prostitue class), not the middle class light skinned thais. i am a thai girl from thailand, raised in thailand and can communicate in english because my career is a translator. western men look like monsters, sth strange, overweighting, sth like fat crocodiles, poor skin with dark frreckles. in thailand, foreign men who prove very popular among thai light skinned teenagers are chinese, japanese, and korean, not western men. our thai teenager magazines post a lot of chinese, korean, japanese men.

    Reply
    1. yuta Post author

      > our thai teenager magazines post a lot of chinese, korean, japanese men.

      I'm pretty curious about this part. That makes me want even more to visit Thailand again! Such a nice country 🙂

      Reply
  3. Riddhi

    I just love Japanese guys actually I'm an Indian girl
    Its true many Indian girls do not prefer asian guys… I don't know why…
    I have many female friends in my class who love J guys
    Its more like I'm addicted to J guys
    hot Guys from other countries can make me stare at them and admire them a bit,.but Japanese hot guys just totally make me fall in love
    People think it's really abnormal to think in such a way, but I would say it's just my preference, I'm not being racist…
    Btw great article

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Seriously wish Asian men liked mixed girls who are black and white. On Okcupid, I can't even get a reply to a thoughtful, neat message. Those who are a match never send a message/never reply. It's so frustrating.

    Reply
  5. asdf

    You know why Middle Eastern respond to asian men just as much as white men? Because they are not brainwash by the western media like women that born in the west.

    Reply
    1. Arabian

      I'm middle eastern girl and I couldn't care less about Hollywood stereotypes regarding Asian men or us, middle easterners (or any other group of people for that matter). In my country Asian entertainment is far more popular among my generation (90s,00s), Korean dramas, Japanese movies and animations..etc. I do like Asian guys and can see myself with an Asian guy lol.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Hey, I am a guy from Thailand. Its interesting to know that there are some Middle Eastern girls who do prefer Asian guys. By the way, my background is Southeast Asian. Southeast Asians(Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines) tend to have darker skin than East Asians( Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam), in case u are not aware of it. Anyways, I am currently in a relationship with girl from Iraq. I know that USA is definitely a tough place for Asian guys to attract girls from different backgrounds due to all the negative stereotypes surrounding them. By the way, where are u from?

        Reply
  6. Shaniqwa Smith

    I'm confused why white women are stated to be the second least popular group to respond to. If I have done my math correctly based on the data presented in these charts, Middle Eastern women are the most desirable women, followed by Asian and Pacific Islander women, then white women, then Hispanic women, then Native American women, then Indian women, and then black women. What am I missing? Just curious.

    Reply
  7. Neeti

    I would like to clarify in fact eastern culture specially Korean Japanese Burmese Bhutanese are somewhat traditional and similar to Indian culture much conservative than western .. this is a great reason why an Indian girl would prefer eastern over western they look for future usually when thinking of a relationship ..Indian girls are shy but personally many here including me really like cute guys from Korea Japan South eastern countries ..Many Indian women adore Koop kdramas Japanese anime n many more … getting crazier n attracted towards it with increasing popularity day by day .Indian are not particularly attracted to absolute whites of western world they prefer fair to Brown skin

    Reply
  8. Neeti

    I would like to clarify in fact eastern culture specially Korean Japanese Burmese Bhutanese are somewhat traditional and similar to Indian culture much conservative than western .. this is a great reason why an Indian girl would prefer eastern over western they look for future usually when thinking of a relationship ..Indian girls are shy but personally many here including me really like cute guys from Korea Japan South eastern countries ..Many Indian women adore Koop kdramas Japanese anime n many more … getting crazier n attracted towards it with increasing popularity day by day .Indian are not particularly attracted to absolute whites of western world they prefer fair to Brown over white skin.

    Reply
  9. Nikhil

    stupid indian male should date more black females…I don't know why we rate indian women so high while indian women despise us. I think it's probably to do with our skin colour & to be honest we are not attractive & nothing can change that no matter what, I think Chinese & indian man should look towards Africa & avoid women from there own race.

    Reply
    1. Roshan Kumar

      Right Bro But Don't Take It As Offence.They Don't Reply Because We Text Them Just Stop Texting Them And Show Them That They Dont Deserve Any Love And That's It Our Problem Will Be Solved

      Reply
  10. Edna Hunt

    Very true ratings.. Indian men are actually the least sought after, worse than Black guys. Because Indian men view women as sexual objects. They think chatting with a white girl means it's cool to chat about sex. Who wants to chat about sex with these rapists?

    Reply
  11. Lila

    On youtube and internet in general, you can find a lot of articles about white girls dating Japanese man, and vice-versa, also black girls dating asians, but unfortunately for me, there is NO article or survey about north african/arabic type girl dating in Japan.
    I'm a bit frustrated, because I' m not really sure if I should include myself as Middle-eastern or not, I look arabic (I am French, but my parents are Moroccan) but not really Middle-east type I think… I find it so hard to date Japanese man here in Japan, I would be very curious to know if Japanese guys are interested in North african girls … I feel like I am not really attractive here and the more I live here the less I am confident with my physical appearance.
    In the opposite, in France or Europe, I'm the "latin/oriental looking type" so I was more popular there with white guys and had no difficulty to meet a man or have a date.
    But if should be in the Middle East category, then I am quite suprised about this: "Middle Eastern women are the most popular." Well, not in Japan I guess !
    Though, I am not sure whether Japanese guys know a lot about this category. However, people here in Japan always think I'm Spanish or Italian. So confusing for them when I say I'm French…

    Reply
  12. MeMe

    As a half middle eastern woman ( Half turkish/kurdish ), I really prefer asian men more, Idk why but I am more attracted to them than white guys or middle eastern guys.

    Reply

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