Loneliness Statistics and Data

Scientifically reviewed by Viktor Sander B.Sc., B.A. on March 23, 2020.

This page summarizes statistics and data from the major surveys on loneliness and isolation between 2010-2020.

Sections

  1. Loneliness in the general population
  2. Loneliness and the Coronavirus / COVID-19 epidemic
  3. Loneliness in children
  4. Loneliness in generation Z
  5. Loneliness among millennials
  6. Loneliness in generation X
  7. Loneliness among the elderly
  8. Loneliness and work
  9. Loneliness and income
  10. Loneliness and gender
  11. Loneliness and race
  12. Loneliness and education
  13. Loneliness and social media
  14. Loneliness and health
  15. Costs associated with loneliness


Loneliness in the General Population

United States

  • 43% sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful. (US, Cigna, 2019)
  • 52% sometimes or always feel alone in 2019. In 2018, that number was 46%. (US, Cigna, 2019)
  • 21% have no close friends. (US, YouGov, 2019)

United Kingdom

  • 9 million people often feel lonely. (UK, Red Cross, 2016)
  • 52% sometimes or always feel lonely. (UK, Red Cross, 2016)

Australia

  • 51% feel lonely for at least 1 day each week. (Australian Psychological Society, 2018).
  • 9.5% (1.8M people) lack social support. (Relationships Australia, 2018)
  • 25% currently feel lonely. (Australian Psychological Society, 2018)


Loneliness and the Coronavirus / COVID-19 Epidemic

  • 37% have felt lonely in the past 7 days because of COVID-19 (CA, Abacus, March 25, 2020)


Loneliness in Children

  • 12% of children aged 10-12 are often lonely. (UK, ONS, 2018)
  • 8.6% of children aged 13-15 are often lonely.  (UK, ONS, 2018)
  • 19.5% of children in cities are often lonely, compared to 5% of children in towns or rural areas. (UK, ONS, 2018)


Loneliness in Generation Z (Born 1997–2012)

  • Gen Z is the loneliest age group. (US, Cigna, 2019)
  • 65% Sometimes or always feel lonely. (US, YouGov, 2019)
  • 69% feel shy. (US, Cigna, 2019)
  • 19% have no close friends. (US, YouGov, 2019)
  • 87% say it’s difficult to make new friends because they are shy. (US, YouGov, 2019)


Loneliness Among Millennials (Born 1982–1999)

  • 65% sometimes or always feel lonely. (US, YouGov, 2019)
  • 27% have no close friends. (US, YouGov, 2019)
  • 60% say it’s difficult to make new friends because they are shy. (US, YouGov, 2019)
  • 42% of millennial women are more afraid of loneliness than a cancer diagnosis. (US, State of Women’s Wellness, 2017)


Loneliness in Generation X (Born 1961–1981)

  • 50% sometimes or always feel lonely. (US, YouGov, 2019)
  • 33% have no close friends. (US, YouGov, 2019)


Loneliness Among the Elderly

  • 44% of Baby Boomers sometimes or always feel lonely. (US, YouGov, 2019)
  • 16% of Baby Boomers have no close friends. (US, YouGov, 2019)
  • 49% is the expected loneliness increase for people over 50 the coming 10 years. (UK, 2018)
  • 51% of people over 75 live alone. (2011. UK)
  • 49% of people over 65 say that television or pets are their main form of company. (UK, Age UK, 2015)
  • 9% of older people feel trapped in their own home. (UK, Age UK, 2015)
  • 41% of people aged 65 and over feel out of touch with the pace of modern life. (UK, 2014)
  • 12% of people aged 65 and over feel cut off from society. (AgeUK, UK, 2014)
  • People with a high degree of loneliness are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as people with a low degree of loneliness. (AgeUK, UK, 2014)


Loneliness and Work

Data from Cigna Loneliness Index, US, 2020

  • 32% of men and 23% of women feel abandoned by coworkers when under pressure.
  • 35% feel a general sense of emptiness at work.
  • 39% feel like they have to hide their true self at work.
  • Lonely workers say they are less engaged, less productive, and report lower retention rates.
  • 54% of remote workers feel that their relationships with others are not meaningful. 45% of office-workers feel this way.
  • 57% of remote workers say they always or sometimes feel lonely. 52% of office-workers feel this way.


Loneliness and Income

Data from YouGov Friendship, US, 2019

  • 58% of people making under $40k/year sometimes or always feel lonely.
  • 52% of people making $40-$80k/year sometimes or always feel lonely.
  • 47% of people making $80k+/year sometimes or always feel lonely.
  • 30% of people making under $40k/year have no close friends.
  • 21% of people making $40-$80k/year have no close friends.
  • 11% of people making $80k+/year have no close friends.


Loneliness and Gender

Data from Cigna Loneliness Index, US, 2020

  • 63% of men and 58% of women feel lonely.


Loneliness and Race

Data from YouGov Friendship, US, 2019

  • 52% of Whites sometimes or always feel lonely.
  • 64% of Hispanics sometimes or always feel lonely.
  • 47% of Blacks sometimes or always feel lonely.
  • 17% of Whites have no close friends.
  • 28% of Hispanics have no close friends.
  • 37% of Blacks have no close friends.


Loneliness and Education

Data from YouGov Friendship, US, 2019

  • 30% of people without high school graduation have no close friends.
  • 15% of people with some college education have no close friends.
  • 16% of people with a 4-year college education have no close friends.
  • 10% of people with a Post Grad have no close friends.


Loneliness and Social Media

  • 34% of children aged 12-17 admit to being cyberbullied. (US, 2017)
  • 73% of very heavy social media users feel lonely. Compare to light users who feel lonely: 52%. (Cigna, US, 2020)
  • When social media is used to enhance existing relationships, it reduces loneliness. (UK, 2017)
  • When social media is used to escape social interaction, it increases loneliness. (UK, 2018)


Loneliness and Health

  • 26% increase in the likelihood of mortality among individuals who feel lonely. (Social Relationships and Mortality Risk, 2010)
  • 45% increased risk of mortality in seniors who are lonely. (HRSA, US, 2019)
  • 29% increased risk of heart disease in individuals with poor social relationships. (UK, 2016)
  • 32% increased risk of stroke in individuals with poor social relationships. (UK, 2016)
  • Loneliness and isolation have similar effects on health as being obese, an alcoholic, or smoking 15 cigarettes per day. (UK, 2010)
  • Loneliness is more harmful than not exercising. (UK, 2010)


Costs Associated With Loneliness

  • £32B is what social isolation and disconnected communities are expected to cost the UK economy. (UK, 2015)
  • £5.3B is what social isolation and disconnected communities are expected to cost the UK healthcare. (UK, 2015)
  • $6.7B is the additional US federal healthcare cost related to loneliness among the elderly. (US, 2017)

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