Of those who did not meet online, nearly 22 percent met through work, 19 percent through friends, nine percent at a bar or club and four percent at church, the study said. When researchers looked at how many couples had divorced by the end of the survey period, they found that 5.96 percent of online married couples had broken up, compared to 7.67 percent of offline married couples.
The difference remained statistically significant even after controlling for variables like year of marriage, sex, age, education, ethnicity, household income, religion and employment status.
Cacioppo acknowledged being a "paid scientific advisor" for the website, but said the researchers followed procedures provided by the Journal of the American Medical Association and agreed to oversight by independent statisticians.
People who reported meeting their spouse online tended to be age 30-49 and of higher income brackets than those who met their spouses offline, the survey found.
"We found evidence for a dramatic shift since the advent of the Internet in how people are meeting their spouse," said the study, led by John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago's Department of Psychology.