Dating apps have become the most common way for couples in Japan who wed this year to first meet, with about 1 in every 5, or 22.6%, of newlywed pairs finding love online, according to a recent survey by an insurance firm.

Online encounters overtook couples who met at work or school, which both came in at 20.8%, and those brought together by introductions from friends and acquaintances at 9.4%.

The results of the survey, released Wednesday by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, suggest a greater uptake of internet dating as opportunities to meet face-to-face fell in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In previous editions of the survey in 2012, 2015 and 2016, no responding couples reported meeting via dating apps. The rise in recent years has since been swift, with 12.2% of newlyweds in 2019 citing the software's pivotal role in their unions, a proportion that rose to 16.9% in 2021.

The online poll was conducted in October by the major life insurance company for Nov. 22, otherwise known as Good Couples Day because the numbers 11 and 22 can be pronounced "ii fufu," or "good couple," in Japanese. In total, 1,620 married men and women age 20 to 79 provided valid responses to the latest survey.