There were 4.5 million claims for the benefit between March 13 2020 and January 14 this year, according to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
This represents 39% of the 11.4 million claims made since Universal Credit was introduced in April 2013.
The latest quarterly figures take the total number of people on UC to 6 million as of January 14 - a 98% rise from March 12 2020.
The latest available figures show there were 4.9 million households on Universal Credit in November 2020.
Some 59% of households receiving Universal Credit payments were households without children in November 2020, up from 54% in March.
Claims have largely made a return to pre-pandemic levels following a spike at the beginning of the pandemic, with two weeks in spring seeing 10 times as many claims as usual.