Most couples will meet online by 2031 header image

The majority of UK couples will have first met one another over the internet by 2031.

This is according to eHarmony, which has claimed more than 50 per cent of people will meet either on an online dating service or other website within the next 17 years.

Romain Bertrand, the company's marketing director, stated: "In the decades to come, online dating will not only be an efficient way to meet a partner, but will be by far and away the most common way that couples meet and initially communicate."

eHarmony said online dating use will grow most among people aged between 55 and 64, with a 30 per rise expected to occur for this group. In terms of location, individuals in the south east and eastern England will be the most likely to have met over the internet, while London will see the biggest increase in people using dating sites.

According to eHarmony, the growth of internet access across the UK will be one of the main drivers behind the rising popularity of online dating. It also highlighted the popularity of mobile devices as an important factor.

"One of the most significant developments we've seen at eHarmony is a substantial increase in the number of people who access our site on a smartphone or tablet device," Mr Bertrand stated.

eHarmony said 52 per cent of its users now log on through a smartphone, while a third do so on a tablet.

The company also claimed online dating is more popular than it ever has been, with two-thirds of people saying they would use the service if they became single in the future. A reason behind this may be the fact the number of relationships starting between close friends and colleagues has dropped from 18 to 12 per cent over the past seven years, eHarmony said.

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