People are social beings and need other people to rely on, connect with them and thrive in life. It seems it was never a harder thing to do than in 2021. We entered the year with social restrictions, isolation and preventive measures as a farewell gift from the old one.
Feeling alone is normal. It is common to experience feelings of loneliness at different periods in life. In this article we will look into some loneliness statistics together, to prove that lonely people are not alone after all. This, too, shall pass!
Top 10 Eye-Opening Loneliness Statistics
- 28% of older American adults live by themselves.
- Lack of social relationships puts Americans at a 32% higher risk of stroke.
- People eat 57% of all meals by themselves.
- The loneliness rates in Las Vegas and Washington, DC, are three times the national average.
- 67% of females and 54% of males felt lonely at college.
- Almost 55% of Australia’s population feel they lack closeness with another individual once in a while.
- Loneliness statistics reveal that the percentage of lonely Canadians is between 25–30%.
- Statistics show that 7% of European adults are lonesome.
- Stats reveal that more than 50% of Greeks and Hungarians socialize with family members or friends for only a month or less.
- In Japan, 541,000 people, or 1.57% of the population, live as modern-day hermits.
Statistics on Loneliness in America
In recent years, America has been facing something we could call a loneliness pandemic. When mixed with the COVID-19 pandemic, it produced some staggering stats about relationships between people, the effect of loneliness on their health and the society in general.
Here, we will look into those statistics to try and prevent or at least understand the creeping loneliness that could catch up with us in 2021.
1. 46% of Americans feel lonely, while 47% feel left out.
A survey on the loneliness epidemic in 2019 examined the lives of over 20,000 adults over the age of 18 in the United States and found that one in four Americans (27%) feel misunderstood. Also, two in five Americans (43%) feel like their relationships lack meaning and are isolated from other people.
2. A mere 53% of Americans claim that they have meaningful real-life interactions with people.
Furthermore, the same loneliness statistics from 2019 reveal that only half of the American adult population spends quality time with friends and family and has extended, meaningful conversations with loved ones or other people. The stats also show that Americans who live with other people are less likely to be at risk of feeling lonely.
3. 48.3 is the “loneliness score” of Americans between the ages of 18–22.
We are experiencing a loneliness epidemic. Statistics reveal that the average “loneliness score” in the United States is 44, while the possible scores range from 20 to 80. Americans between the ages of 23–37 (Millennials) come in second place with a score of 45.3, followed by Generation X scoring 45.1 and the Greatest Generation, scoring 38.6.
4. 28% of older American adults live by themselves.
According to recent statistics, the number of people in an average American household has declined in the previous decade, resulting in a 10% increase in individuals living by themselves. On the bright side, psychological facts about loneliness reveal that friendships and any other form of social interaction may reduce the risk of developing diseases and reduce the risk of mortality.
5. Lack of social relationships puts Americans at a 32% higher risk of stroke.
Not only does loneliness affect the mind, but it also wreaks havoc on the body. Researchers found that individuals who do not have stable social relationships with others have a 29% higher chance of suffering from coronary heart disease. Moreover, the annual federal spending attributable to the isolation of older adults is $6.7 billion.
6. According to social isolation statistics, over 50% of Americans take prescription medication to combat emotional and physical problems due to loneliness.
A survey examining 1,947 adults from the United States found that the total number of prescription medications filled for adults and children in the country increased by a whopping 85% in 2016. This stat is shocking, considering that America’s population increased by a mere 21% in 2016.
7. Americans eat 57% of all meals by themselves.
Loneliness stats reveal that an increasing percentage of Americans eat their meals alone and not with their family members or friends. Furthermore, 34% of Americans are alone during dinner time. Moreover, 30% of all households in America consists of only one individual.
8. The loneliness rates in Las Vegas and Washington, DC, are three times the national average.
Statistics about loneliness in the United States reveal that individuals hanging out in casinos in Las Vegas aren’t only there to win cash, but also to cope with loneliness. Also, according to the facts, Nashville is considered the loneliest Southern city. Not only that, but four cities in Texas (El Paso, Austin, Fort Worth, and Dallas) also made it on the list of America’s loneliest cities.
9. 70% of adults in Washington, DC, are single.
Statistics on loneliness in the United States reveal that the percentage of single adults in the nation’s capital is 20% higher than any other region in the United States. However, stats also show that the capital residents are also the most likely to use online dating applications! South Carolina comes in second place, with 49% of the adult population being single, while third place goes to Arizona with 48.89% of singles.
10. Teenage loneliness statistics reveal that the percentage of lonely high school seniors increased from 26% in 2012 to 39% in 2017.
However, the loneliness epidemic is generational, and younger individuals are affected by it. Stats show that the percentage of lonely 12th graders increased from 30% in 2012 to 38% in 2017. According to experts, the loneliness outbreak among teens may be because they don’t spend enough time going out with friends.
11. Loneliness statistics from 2017 show that girls accounted for 80% of 4,636 counseling sessions.
In 2017, Childline delivered 4,636 counseling sessions related to loneliness, a surprising 14% increase from 2016. According to the experts, future generations will have even more issues with social skills as technology advances.
12. 67% of females and 54% of males felt lonely at college.
Loneliness in college students is common, and statistics from a study conducted on almost 48,000 individuals over one year reveal this. Also, only 20% of college students claimed they were never lonely at college during the study period. Unfortunately, the stats also show that some individuals could barely cope with these feelings, as almost 12% had suicidal thoughts.
Worldwide Loneliness Stats to Bring Us Closer Together
If there is one thing coronavirus pandemic showed us it’s the fact that we are all connected, no matter where we live. For this reason, we will now analyze different loneliness stats from around the world to discover just how lonely people worldwide feel.
13. Almost 55% of Australia’s population feel they lack closeness with another individual once in a while.
According to loneliness statistics, Australia is not only isolated by sea but also has one in four adults feeling lonely. 50.5% of Australian adults feel lonely at least one day a week on average, whereas 27.6% feel lonely for three days or more. The stats also show that one in four Australians suffer from social interaction anxiety.
14. Australians who are lonely have a 15.2% higher chance of suffering from depression and a 13.1% higher chance of being anxious when interacting with others.
Facts about loneliness and depression reveal that lonely Australians have worse mental and physical health than those who feel connected with others. The least lonely Aussies are the married ones, while those who are divorced, separated, or single feel the most alone. Furthermore, those Australians who claim to be in a “de facto” relationship are also less likely to feel isolated than unattached Australians.
15. When it comes to the elderly, the loneliness statistics reveal that, in Australia, 46% of seniors feel lonely, compared to 62% of young adults.
The stats show that Australians over the age of 65 are less isolated than more youthful individuals, and they also have better mental and physical health. They have less social interaction anxiety, fewer symptoms of depression, and more significant social interactions.
16. Statistics reveal that the percentage of lonely Canadians is between 25–30%.
Many community surveys dealing with the loneliness outbreak in Canada claim that the issue is enormous among Canadians, and it is persistent across different age groups. Based on loneliness statistics in Canada from 2016, 28% of Canadian households consist of a single person, suggesting further social isolation.
17. In Japan, 541,000 people, or 1.57% of the population, live as modern-day hermits.
Also known as hikikomori, these lone individuals withdraw from society on purpose and even isolate themselves in their houses for years. Even though experts believed that the condition is unique to Japanese individuals, they found out that around 0.3% of South Koreans do the same.
18. Loneliness statistics from 2018 show that solitude is a worldwide phenomenon, as 40% of Japan’s inhabitants will live alone by 2040.
The country of 127 million people is known as the country with the oldest population and one with an increasing number of lonely people. Stats show that around 6.24 million seniors over the age of 65 and 18.4 million adults live solo. Unfortunately, these numbers are twice as high as they were 30 years ago.
19. Loneliness facts show that Japan has 30,000 lonely deaths a year.
Since more and more people in Japan live alone, the rise of kodokushi is also at an all-time high. Kodokushi is a Japanese term for individuals dying alone and staying undiscovered for a long time. Shockingly, experts claim that the yearly number of kodokushi may be two to three times higher than expected.
20. UK loneliness statistics reveal that 14% of the population suffers from loneliness.
An investigation into loneliness commissioned by the UK government at the end of 2017 showed that 9 million Britons are lonely. The individuals at a higher risk of suffering from loneliness include the elderly and people coping with disabilities. Fortunately, people are going to therapy, and it is estimated that physicians see between one and five patients daily.
21. Statistics on loneliness show that 7% of European adults are lonely.
(EU SCIENCE HUB)
Based on the analysis, it is estimated that 30 million adults living in Europe suffer from loneliness. The percentage goes up to 10% in the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and Poland. Nevertheless, the least lonely country in Europe is the Netherlands (3%), followed by Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, and Sweden.
22. Stats on loneliness reveal that more than 50% of Greeks and Hungarians socialize with family members or friends for only a month or less.
(EU SCIENCE HUB)
The percentage of Lithuanians, Estonians, and Polish people who socialize with friends or family members for a month or less is around 35%. Even though 7% of European adults feel lonely, the data shows that 18% or an estimated 75 million Europeans are socially isolated.
23. When it comes to loneliness at Christmas, statistics reveal that 36% of people in the UK and Ireland are lonely during this holiday.
Previous stats in the UK and Ireland have shown that loneliness at Christmas was more likely to take a toll on the older generation. Over half a million seniors over the age of 65 have expressed feeling this way. However, the new data reveals that people between the ages of 25 and 34 are at a double risk of feeling the Christmas blues.
Coping With Loneliness Stats for a Less Lonely 2021
Feeling alone and isolated can have a severe impact on one’s mental and physical health. This is why it is important to seek help and work towards getting better as soon as we identify the feeling. Here are some numbers to reveal different habits you can adopt in 2021 to make yourself feel better.
24. Statistics on loneliness show that pet owners are 36% less likely to be lonely than non-pet owners.
The stats come from a survey of 830 primary care patients over the age of 60. However, another analysis of 5,210 older adults found that pet owners are less lonely, reinforcing the idea that pets have a therapeutic effect on their owners.
25. 40% of survey respondents in the UK have fun working out in groups, and 20% enjoy meeting new people while exercising.
Facts about loneliness reveal that exercise is an excellent way to combat loneliness and depression. A recent survey found that people of all generations enjoy going to group exercise classes to get out of their comfort zone, socialize, and connect with other like-minded individuals.
26. 77% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 believe volunteering helped them feel more connected with others and less isolated.
Loneliness statistics derived from a volunteer survey of over 10,000 people in the United Kingdom found that volunteering is an excellent way to meet new people, socialize, and even improve overall well being. Moreover, 9 in 10 volunteers claim they have met new people through this activity. More than 77% of volunteers reported improvements in mental health, while 53% reported physical health improvements.
What does being alone do to a person?
Loneliness comes with a wide array of health consequences. The most common health risks associated with isolation and loneliness include depression, anxiety, stress, decreased memory, antisocial behavior, substance abuse, Alzheimer’s disease, foggy brain, insomnia, poor decision-making, suicidal thoughts, and suicide. Also, isolated and lonely individuals are more likely to turn to food for comfort, and they are at a higher risk of being obese.
Why are people lonely?
There are some causes of loneliness, such as divorce, that have always been present throughout the years. However, in the age of technology, more and more people are becoming isolated and lonely due to social media. Social media contribute to loneliness because online spaces are usually oriented to status, exaggerating the positive qualities of others and frowning on expressions of isolation and loneliness. Other common causes include a lack of self-esteem and moving to a new location.
Why is loneliness deadly?
As previously mentioned, loneliness can take an enormous toll on a person’s mental and physical health. Experts claim that loneliness is just as hazardous to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes daily! There are a couple of good reasons why loneliness and isolation can be deadly. Firstly, loneliness reduces an individual’s immunity, making the person more prone to contracting a disease. Secondly, loneliness increases inflammation in all parts of the body, sparking the possibility of heart disease or another serious health condition.
As we could see in examples given in the article’s different loneliness statistics, 2021 could have a serious impact on our internal feelings and the way we interact with the society.
The loneliness statistics are here for educational purposes and to point to the rising loneliness epidemic present in all cultures and generations. It is very important to accept that loneliness is bad for both our physical and mental health.
If you have been feeling alone, and this feeling influenced your plans and mood, we wish to encourage you to seek professional help to combat this feeling in a healthy and efficient way.