Loneliness Statistics (2022): By Country, Demographics & More

View a collection of the most relevant statistics and data on loneliness and isolation by country, demographic, and life circumstances.
Yellow Flower Growing Up Through Sidewalk Crack With "Loneliness Statistics" Text

[Updated May 24th, 2022]

Through our research at the Roots Of Loneliness Project, we’ve found over 100 types of loneliness.

This article contains a collection of the most relevant statistics and data on loneliness and isolation that include a variety of countries and circumstances.

Data sources include our own independent research, the National Library of Medicine (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), YouGov, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), SAGE Journals, Taylor & Francis Online, and others.

Sections:

Loneliness In The United States

Infographic Highlighting Key Statistics On Loneliness In The United States

  • 52% of Americans report feeling lonely while 47% report their relationships with others are not meaningful. [2]
  • Only 59% of Americans say they have a best friend and 12% say they feel they have no close friends at all. [50]
  • Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Denver are the three loneliest cities in the U.S. with statistics showing loneliness is 3 times above the national average. [1]
  • Wyoming is the loneliest state of all per capita, followed by Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, and Delaware. [1]
  • Wisconsin is the least lonely state in America per capita, followed by Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. [1]
  • Of the largest states with a population of at least 8 million, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, California, Virginia, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas contain 57% of the lonely population in the United States. [1]
  • 52% of Americans have felt left out at some point in their lives. [2]
  • 53% of Americans cite shyness as the reason why it’s difficult to make friends. [17]
  • 58% of Americans reported that they sometimes or always feel like no one knows them well. [2]
  • Many Americans are single, a status that can directly affect their feelings of loneliness. [73]
    • Washington DC takes 1st place, with 70% of adults being single — which is 20% higher than any other region in the United States.
    • South Carolina takes 2nd place – 49% of the adult population here is single and its most searched term on Google Trends is “I’m lonely.”
    • Finally, Arizona comes in 3rd place with 48.89% of adults being single. [3]
  • Single or not, 57% of Americans report eating all meals alone. [4]

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Loneliness Worldwide

  • 55% of London residents say they feel lonely, making London the loneliest city in the world. [5]
  • Social isolation is a problem in Europe: 18% of its citizens, the equivalent of 75 million people, are socially isolated. [6]
  • In the UK, statistics show that 14% of the population feels lonely all the time. Additionally, 36% of the population is too embarrassed to admit to feeling lonely during the holidays. [7][8]
  • 45% (25 million) of people in England feel lonely occasionally, sometimes, or often. [9]
  • In Australia, 62% of young adults and 46% of seniors report being lonely while 55% of the population says they lack companionship at least sometimes. [10]
  • Loneliness doesn’t spare Canadians either – between 25-30% of the population feels persistent loneliness or social isolation. [11]
  • 1.54% of Japan’s population (around 541,000 people) live as modern-day hermits. [12]

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Loneliness And Age

Infographic Illustration Highlighting Key Statistics Relating To Loneliness And Age

  • Studies all seem to agree that young people are lonelier than the elderly and middle-aged people as well. [18]
  • One study revealed that 80% of people under the age of 18 are lonely sometimes vs 40% of those over 65. [47]
  • Another study, focusing on people in the US, showed that 30% of people will experience loneliness by the time they reach middle age. [48] [74]

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Loneliness Among Generation Z (1997-2012)

  • Some reports show that 73% of Gen Z’ers feel lonely sometimes or always. [13]
  • In America, 61% of Gen Z’ers feel lonely. [14]
  • The suicide rate is also very high among those aged 10-24 and it increased to 56% between 2007 and 2017. [13]
  • 43% of those aged 17-25 feel lonely and less than half of them feel loved, according to a survey by Action for Children among those who used their services. [26]
  • The percentage of lonely high school seniors went from 26% in 2012 to 39% in 2017. [27]

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Loneliness Among Millennials (1981-1996)

  • Loneliness is a well-known feeling to millennials: 73% say they are lonely. [13]
  • Other reports show that 30% of millennials are always or often lonely. [15] [75]
  • Fear of loneliness is especially high among millennial women: 42% say they are more afraid of loneliness than a cancer diagnosis. [16]

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Loneliness Among Generation X (1965-1980)

  • Loneliness isn’t unknown to those in Gen X either: 30% of them say they sometimes feel lonely. [17]
  • Even worse, 22% of Gen X’ers say they have no close friends. [17]
  • In general, studies show middle-aged people are lonelier than the elderly. [18]
  • 30% of middle-aged people in America will experience loneliness for a variety of reasons. [48] [74]

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Loneliness Among Seniors

  • In America, 28% of senior citizens live alone. [19] [76]
  • Japanese statistics reveal that by 2040, 40% of senior citizens in Japan will live alone. [20]
  • A study by the University of Michigan revealed that in June 2020 56% of people aged 50 to 80 experienced feelings of isolation. [21]
  • Studies conducted in the UK show that by 2025 the number of people over 50 experiencing feelings of isolation will reach 2 million. By comparison, in 2016 the number was at 1.4 million, so we’ll be witnessing a 43% increase. [22]
  • 23% of those aged 75+ and living alone go without speaking to or seeing someone every day, while 13% of those aged 55+ speak to someone else 3 or 4 days each week. [23]
  • In the UK, 49% of those aged 75 and over live alone, while half (about 5 million) of older adults in the UK say the TV is their main companion. [25]

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Loneliness And Gender

Infographic Illustration Highlighting Key Statistics On Loneliness Relating To Gender

  • Loneliness is divided relatively equally among men and women: 46.1% of men feel lonely compared to 45.3% of women. [13]
  • In general, though, the consensus is that men report more loneliness than women. [29]
  • In college, the situation is different with 67% of women feeling lonely vs 54% of men. [28]
  • Another study on men between the ages of 60-64 found that 52% of men are lonely. [30] [77]
  • One study found that women report more loneliness due to an increased risk of widowhood, chronic illness, living alone, and disablity, but also because they’re more likely to recognize when they are, in fact, struggling with feelings of loneliness. [78] [79]

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Loneliness And Sexual Orientation

Infographic Illustration Highlighting Key Statistics On Loneliness Relating To Sexual Orientation

  • 37.7% of sexual minorities that haven’t experienced bullying always feel lonely, with 42% experiencing loneliness most of the time. [31]
  • In Canada, research shows that about 13-24% of sexual minority men experience feelings of loneliness most or all of the time. Other studies say loneliness among sexual minorities regardless of gender is at around 34.7%. [32]
  • In China, gay men (aged 25-29) are 8 times more likely to feel criticized and rejected compared to their younger counterparts. [67]
  • Acceptance is on the rise, however. In the United States, a 2019 survey found that 72% of Americans say that being gay should be accepted — a 10% increase since 2010. [68]

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Loneliness And Race

Infographic Illustration Highlighting Key Statistics On Loneliness Relating To Race

  • A study looking at people struggling with anxiety and depression observed that loneliness and social isolation were the main contributing factor to poor mental health for:
    • 73.88% of Hispanic or Latino individuals
    • 71.52% of Asian or Pacific Islander individuals
    • 71.19% of Native American individuals
    • 69.24% of Black or African-American individuals [33]

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Loneliness And Health

  • The health effects of loneliness are many and profound: the impact of loneliness on mortality is similar to that of smoking 15 cigarettes per day. [51]
  • Social isolation (real or perceived) is a risk factor for early mortality. Loneliness, social isolation, and living alone correspond with an average 26%, 29%, and 32% increased likelihood of mortality, respectively, across genders and regions. [52]
  • Nearly 1 in 4 adults aged 65 and older are socially isolated; social isolation is associated with about a 50% increased risk of developing dementia. [53]
  • Chronically lonely older adults with heart failure are nearly 4 times likelier to die — they have a 57% increased risk of visits to the emergency room and a 68% increased risk of being hospitalized. [53]
  • Across multiple studies, social isolation is consistently associated with chronic heart failure, coronary artery disease, and congestive heart failure. [35]
  • Loneliness or social isolation leading to poor relationships is associated with a 32% increased risk of stroke and a 29% increased risk of heart disease. [53]
  • Chronic loneliness is also associated with a weakened immune system [54], cardiovascular disease [55], high blood pressure [56], type 2 diabetes [57], and a worsening of multimorbidities and co-morbidities [58].
  • People with disabilities, in general, struggle with loneliness more: 50% of them are lonely and 1 in 4 feel lonely every day. [36]
  • Loneliness is common among people with autism as 1 in 3 say they are socially isolated. [34] [80]
  • Chronic loneliness can increase the risk of mental illness including anxiety and depression. [59]
  • Loneliness also contributes to an increased risk of high-risk behaviors including drug abuse. [60]
  • Feelings of loneliness can fuel symptoms of disordered eating, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other non-specified eating disorders. [61]

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Loneliness And Life Situation

Infographic Illustration Highlighting Key Statistics On Loneliness Relating To Living Situation

  • Before the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, only 28.9% of those who live alone struggled with feelings of loneliness, compared to 19.3% of those who live with other adults and 16.7% of those who live with children. [49]
  • About one-third (30%) of parents struggle with chronic loneliness. [24] [81]
  • Another study that interviewed 2,025 UK mothers found that more than 90% of them have felt lonely since having children. [37]
  • 32% of new parents struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. [66]
  • A study by the University of Minnesota showed that people in rural areas experience less loneliness than those living in cities. This was one of the first studies that looked at loneliness in rural vs. urban areas. [38]
  • Discrimination plays a vital role in a person’s feelings of loneliness. Studies revealed that 49% of those who had experienced such discrimination often or always felt lonely as opposed to 28% of those who hadn’t experienced discrimination. [39]
  • It is known that single people sometimes experience feelings of loneliness – 50.2% of Americans are currently single, so it is no wonder why a large number of the population feels alone. [40] [73]

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Loneliness And Education

Infographic Illustration Highlighting Key Statistics On Loneliness Relating To Education Level

  • A YouGov study revealed levels of loneliness differ slightly for people with different levels of education:
    • Among those who didn’t graduate high school, 23% feel lonely always or often, while 28% feel lonely sometimes. 30% of them also report having no close friends.
    • Of those who have some college education (2-year), 25% report feeling lonely always or often, while 33% feel lonely sometimes. 15% of those with some college education report having no close friends.
    • 16% of those with a full (4-year) college education say they don’t have any close friends. Only 17% report feeling lonely always or often, while 36% say they feel lonely sometimes.
    • Finally, 10% of those with post-grad education don’t have close friends. 14% report feeling lonely always or often, while 36% feel lonely sometimes. [17]
  • Only 10% of Duke University students feel lonely most of the time or always. [41]
  • 33% of Duke students feel lonely sometimes, most of them during class, but some also in the evening, while studying, or during their free time. [41]

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Loneliness And Social Media

  • As of 2022, 3.96 billion people use social media — more than half of the world’s population. [72]
  • The average person spends 147 minutes (2 hours, 27 minutes) on social media each day. [72]
  • Social media can make us feel more alone. 71% of heavy social media users say they experience feelings of loneliness. [13]
  • In 2021, Facebook users say they consider only about 28% of their Facebook friends to be real friends. [42]
  • Average social media users may have hundreds of “friends” on a given platform but would only trust 4 of them for support in a crisis. [69] [70]
  • One study found that reduced use of social media “showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression” along with a significant decrease in anxiety and fear of missing out (FOMO). [71]

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Loneliness And Income

Infographic Illustration Highlighting Key Statistics Relating To Loneliness And Income Level

  • People with high incomes spend more time alone instead of socializing, but are less lonely than those with lower incomes; spending time alone does not necessarily equate to feeling lonely. [43][62]
  • On the same note, another study linked lower income to loneliness and social isolation. [44]
  • YouGov conducted a study and revealed loneliness does indeed vary according to income:
    • Of those earning 40k or less per year, 10% feel lonely most days, and 5% feel lonely all the time.
    • Among those who earn between 40-80k per year, 7% feel lonely most days, and 3% feel lonely all the time.
    • Finally, among those who earn over 80k per year, only 3% feel alone most days, and 2% feel lonely all the time. [45]

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Loneliness And Religion

  • Studies show that loneliness and social isolation are less common among older adults who regularly attend religious services. [46]
  • On the other hand, 64% of Anglican Church leaders say that loneliness and social isolation are great problems in their congregations. [47]
  • In 2018-19, 65% of adult Americans described themselves as Christians, a decline of 12% over the past decade. [63]
  • Those who claim to be agnostic, atheist, or “nothing in particular” grew to 26%, versus the 17% it had been in 2009. [63]
  • 54% of Americans say they attend religious services a few times a year or less, compared to the 45% who say they attend at least monthly. [63]
  • The gap in religious attendance is widest between the oldest and youngest generations, with 61% of the Silent Generation (born 1928-1945) attending church at least monthly if not more often, compared to just 35% of Millennials who claim the same frequency. [63]
  • The decline in church attendance can affect one’s ability to find a sense of community, leading to loneliness. [64] [65]

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Loneliness And The COVID-19 Pandemic

Infographic Illustration Depicting Loneliness During The COVID-19 Pandemic

  • During the pandemic, loneliness increased by 181%, our research showed.
  • 20.7% of people surveyed reported struggling with feelings of loneliness before COVID-19, while 58.1% felt somewhat or much lonelier due to social distancing and shelter-in-place mandates. [49]
  • Women seem to have been more affected by loneliness during this time: 60.6% of women felt lonely vs. 55% of men. [49]
  • Millennials were the loneliest generation during the pandemic: 61.8% felt somewhat lonely vs. 53.6% of Gen Z’ers and 50.8% of Baby Boomers. [49]
  • Although 28.9% of those living alone reported struggling with loneliness before the pandemic, 67.7% felt somewhat or much lonelier during the pandemic. [49]
  • Of those living with children, only 16.7% struggled with feelings of loneliness before the pandemic while 55% felt somewhat or much lonelier during the pandemic. [49]
  • Remote contact alleviated loneliness in 42% of respondents while it worsened loneliness in 17.1% of those surveyed. [49]

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In Conclusion

Feeling lonely is part of the human experience. And if these statistics prove anything, it’s that you’re not alone in feeling lonely.

Life circumstances, health, age, and gender all impact our chances of experiencing signs of loneliness at some point in our lives.

Regardless of why you’re feeling lonely and alone, seeking meaningful connections with others, exploring more of your passions and hobbies, and even seeking professional help can help you to feel less lonely.

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About The Author

I’m a PhD psychologist, writer, and coach. I write articles about dating, relationships, mental health, and maybe a few science-y ones just to...