You’ve heard that everyone feels alone sometimes, but the loneliness statistics show that’s a bit of an understatement.
Why are we all so lonely if we, in theory, have each other?
Are we individually responsible for our loneliness? Or is it a societal problem?
Our individual social skills can’t be solely to blame, especially when so many of us regularly feel alone.
We crunched the statistics on loneliness and found that there really is strength in numbers — the data suggest that feeling lonely isn’t a problem with you, but an effect of the world we live in.
Loneliness By The Statistics: A Roundup
- 75% of Americans report moderate to high levels of loneliness
- 9 million adults in the UK feel lonely
- 50% of Americans report feeling lonely sometimes or always
- More than half a million people in Japan spend 6 months alone at home without any outside contact
- 7.2% of Europeans reported feeling socially isolated
What does this mean?
It means that loneliness isn’t a one person, one country issue. It means that of 4 friends you have, 3 of them are probably lonely.
It means that social isolation is widespread and rampant, clearly becoming a global issue. Yet so few people talk about it.
Loneliness By Age Group
- 94% of Baby Boomers feel outgoing and friendly
- 84% of Baby Boomers felt they belong to a group of friends
- Baby Boomers have a loneliness score of 38.6 out of 80
- 75% of Gen Zers felt outgoing and friendly
- 70% of Gen Zers felt they belong to a group of friends
- Gen Zers have a loneliness score of 48.3 out of 80
What does this tell us?
Millennials are more likely to be lonely than Baby Boomers, and Gen Zers lonelier than both. It means that you’re more likely to be lonelier than your parents, and your grandparents. Calling loneliness a simple lack of social skills doesn’t add up. There must be a bigger driving force making all of us so lonely.
Statistics on Loneliness and Friendships
- 1 out of 4 people feel they have no confidants
- The average American only has 1 close friend
- Only 25% of Ameircans feel satisfied with their friendships
- 27% of Americans feel that no one understands them
- Only 53% of Americans report having meaningful interactions with friends or family on a daily basis
What does this say?
Loneliness has less to do with the number of friends we have or how often we hang out with people. Loneliness seems to relate to our ability to connect with others on a deeper level, even if there are people we could reach out to.
Statistics on Loneliness and Health
- 88% of those with everyday interpersonal interactions report good overall and mental health
- Only 50% of those with little to no interpersonal interactions report good health
- People who are lonely have a 26% higher risk of mortality than those who aren’t lonely
- Feeling lonely has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- People who report being lonely are more likely to be in worse health.
What does this tell us?
Loneliness has greater consequences than we may think. While it’s a social issue, loneliness can take a toll on our body as well.
We must begin to see loneliness as a serious social pattern that needs to be addressed immediately, or we risk our collective health as a consequence. All of us lonely people should stop feeling defective, and start looking at the social structures that keep us isolated.
We know that many people are lonely. The loneliness statistics say so.
We know that being lonely is bad for our mental and physical health. The medical and psychological research say so.
We must come to terms with the fact that loneliness is not an individual social issue, but rather a growing societal trend. As each generation grows lonelier than the last, we must realize that we are not approaching the loneliness epidemic in the right way.
And we need to see that our loneliness doesn’t make us broken, but that we do need to make some changes.
For the sake of our own physical and mental health, we must begin to take decisive action against loneliness. The next question is: how do we do this?
We’re working on the answer. Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of our series on Loneliness, where we dive into ways to fight the loneliness epidemic.
You’ll find articles with suggestions tailored to your specific situation. No one-size-fits-all tips here.
And in the meantime, consider talking about it – by talking about something deeply affecting you, you’re more likely to actually feel a connection!
Anonymous chats make it easy to open up, so consider reaching out at Supportiv.