‘E-babies’ will be majority of births by 2037, research shows

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By 2037 more babies in the UK will be born to parents who met online than offline, new research about so called ‘E-babies’ shows.

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.

It suggests that within the next decade, 40% of babies born will be so-called “e-babies” – born to parents who met on the internet.

A couple watch the sunset
More couples will have met online by 2035, according to the forecast (Anthony Devlin/PA)

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.

The data highlights the shifting habits of those looking to meet a partner: around a third (32%) of relationships started between 2015 and 2019 started online, compared to only 19% between 2005 and 2014.

By 2035, it says the UK will reach the “tipping point” that more than 50% of relationships will begin online.

The research also indicated online dating had given Britons more confidence, with 47% of those asked saying they felt that the internet makes it easier for introverted people to meet a partner.

A man and a woman's hands on a pregnant woman's belly
More couples are meeting online (Katie Collins/PA)

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.

“At eharmony we are consistently updating our site functionality and unique Compatibility Matching System to ensure we remain on the front foot when it comes to creating online relationships.

“What’s more, 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.”

Chris Price
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