Experts have pinpointed the year 2037 as being the time more babies in the UK will be born to parents who met online rather than offline.
If you ask your parents how they met, it’s likely they’ll say in the pub, at work or having been introduced by friends but new research has revealed mums and dads are increasingly getting together the digi way.
The research, by dating platform eharmony and the Imperial College Business School, also identified 2035 as the year when more people will start meeting their partners on rather than offline.
This modern way of meeting has resulted in a growing number of so-called ‘e-babies’ with around two and a half million babies born to e-couples since the turn of the millennium.
And that figure is expected to rise, with the stats predicting a whopping 40% of babies born will be born to parents who met on the Internet.
Of those e-families, over a third (35%) of online couples that had a baby did so within a year of meeting.
Couples who meet online most commonly have two children – with one in five welcoming this number of e-babies to the family (18%).
This is closely followed by having just one e-baby (16%).
The predictions, part of the Future of Dating report, were made based on eharmony data and current birth rate projections from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The data highlights the shifting habits of those looking to meet a partner with around a third (32%) of relationships started between 2015 and 2019 beginning online, compared to only 19% between 2005 and 2014.
By 2030, it says the UK will reach the ‘tipping point’ that more than half of relationships will begin online.
Whereas in the seventies and early eighties one in five couples met in the pub, nowadays just one in 14 do so.
There’s a surprise knock-on effect of the rise in e-couplings too as the research reveals online dating has given Britons more confidence, with 47% of those polled saying they felt that the Internet makes it easier for introverted people to meet a partner.
Commenting on the findings Romain Bertrand, head of marketing at eharmony, said: “It's very positive to see that online dating is set to continue opening doors for singles into the future.
“Our long-term partnership with Imperial College Business School continues to give us valuable insight into how the world of dating and relationships might look in decades to come and how society will continue to evolve over time.”
Dr Paolo Taticchi, principal teaching fellow at Imperial College Business School, said: “The digital world has streamlined the online dating process - making it easier to find someone while ensuring that they match your criteria.
“2035 will be an instrumental year for finding love and begin a new era of 21st century dating.”