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Will ebabies be the future of starting a family ?

Kids born to Aussie couples who met online will be in the majority by 2038 says the first ‘Future of Dating’ report from Monash University and eharmony. They have predicted the effect online dating will have on families and relationships over the coming decades.

  • By 2038, more babies will be born to parents who met online than offline, and within the next decade 34% of newborns will be so-called ‘ebabies’
  • Additional research also identifies the ‘Tipping Point’ – the year when more Aussies meet on rather than offline – as 2040
  • Report finds that online dating is now the most popular way for Aussie singles to get together (29.4%), well ahead of meeting at a bar, pub or club (around 6%)
  • Just under half of Aussies (48%) agree that the digital world makes it easier to find someone compatible

Meeting through technology will increasingly be the norm, with projections suggesting 2040 as the year when more Aussie couples will meet online than offline.

This new report by experts at eharmony and researchers from Monash Business School and the University’s Faculty of Information Technology, shines a light on the many meaningful connections online dating creates.

Some of the report’s key findings include:

  1. ebabies and the future of starting a family  

Using a nationally representative survey of over 2,000 Australians and projections from current trends in online dating, the authors of the report pinpoint 2038 as the year when more than half of babies born will be born to online couples.

Furthermore, by 2030, over a third of babies will be ebabies, which is huge leap forward considering just two decades ago online dating was very much in its infancy. In fact, even just a decade ago, few couples openly admitted they met online.

Interestingly enough, the report also finds that couples who met online in more recent years (2014-2020), on average have 2.3% more babies than those who met face-to-face (1.38 vs.1.35). This suggests a key group of singles use technology to seek family-inclined commitments.

Aussie couples who meet online most commonly have one child (21%), with over one in eight (13%) welcoming two children. Men are also slightly more likely than women to have children with a partner they met online (38.9% v 35.4%).

  1. Defining the ‘Tipping Point’ 

In the second part of their report, the Monash team estimated the year when more couples will meet online than offline.

Using a combination of nationally representative data and statistical probabilities, they conclude that 2040 will be the so-called Tipping Point, when just over half (50%) of relationships begin online.

Table 1: Method of single people meeting between the years of 2015 & 2020 

Rank  Method
1 Dating apps (29.4%)
2 Via a mutual friend (17.1%)
3 At work (15.9%)
4 At a bar, pub or club (6.3%)
5 At school (6%)
6 Via social media (4.8%)

 

In recognition of the huge benefits of online dating, almost half of Aussies (48%) believe it makes it easier to find someone compatible, and a similar number think it allows for ‘better matching’.

Two thirds of Aussies (69%) agree online dating has become more normalized – meaning the stigma has long since gone – and an inspired one in two Aussies (51%) say the internet makes it easier for introverts to find love.

Sharon Draper, Relationship Expert at eharmony added: “Online dating often gets a bad rap for encouraging casual dating and swipe culture. But our report with Monash University, demonstrates that there are countless people who look to technology to find life-long partners and start families.

Project Lead, Yelena Tsarenko, Professor at Monash School of Business comments: Through this collaboration, we used a combination of statistical modelling and nationally representative research data to determine the year in which more couples will meet online than offline. We also identified alternative ways that tailored matching between two parties online may change in the future.”

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