10 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
Fact checked

Everybody experiences loneliness occasionally. Because feelings of loneliness and isolation are subjective, everyone’s perception of loneliness will vary. Social isolation is the objective situation of having few social interactions or sparse social contact with others, whereas loneliness is the subjective experience of being socially isolated. Loneliness and social isolation statistics are significant, yet underappreciated public health problems that impact a substantial number of the elderly population.

A general characteristic of loneliness is the emotion we experience when our demand for satisfying social contact and interactions is not met. Loneliness is not always synonymous with solitude.

You may choose to remain alone and live joyfully without much interaction with others, whereas others may consider this experience lonely.

Or you might have a significant amount of social contact, be in a marriage, or be a member of a family and yet still experience loneliness, particularly if you do not feel cared for or understood by other people.

Keep reading to know more on loneliness statistics, hard facts about loneliness, and how it affects our health.

Here are ten unexpected facts regarding loneliness that will alter your perception of this all-too-frequent but debilitating mental disease.

Loneliness is independent of the number of friends or relationships one has. Loneliness is fully dependent on the perceived quality of one’s relationships, on whether one feels social and/or emotionally detached from others. Consequently…

Over 60 percent of lonely adults are married. When married partners no longer share their most intimate thoughts, emotions, and feelings with one another, they may feel estranged and alone.  People in such situations believe that their partner cannot provide them with the intimate connection they desire. While their anxieties may be justified, they may also be the result of…

Our perspectives of our relationships are distorted when we are lonely. According to studies, simply asking individuals to recollect occasions when they felt isolated was sufficient to cause them to underestimate their relationships. These perceptual distortions frequently lead lonely individuals to withdraw deeper from the very individuals who could relieve their loneliness. In addition, their friends may be afraid to interact with them because…

Isolation is infectious in social networks. Loneliness carries a strong stigma; we are typically able to recognize and identify lonely individuals. A study indicated that during six months, both lonely persons and their acquaintances were pushed to the outside of social networks. Being forced in this manner “into the cold” has a remarkable impact on our bodies…

Loneliness leaves us feeling colder. According to studies, recalling a period when we felt lonely led participants to evaluate the indoor temperature as substantially colder. Even their normal skin temperature decreased. The concept of being “pushed into the cold” echoes our evolutionary background when exclusion from our communities, tribes, or clans meant being pushed away from the fire and the social group. Indeed, our bodies react dramatically to loneliness…

Loneliness tends to make our bodies feel as though they are under attack. Loneliness produces a rapid and strong physiological response. It raises cholesterol and blood pressure and stimulates our physical and mental stress reactions. That’s why…

Chronic loneliness raises our cardiovascular disease risk considerably. Chronically lonely persons have a considerably higher prevalence of cardiovascular illness over time since their bodies are now under constant and persistent stress. However, this is not the only physical effect of loneliness…

Our immune system is inhibited by feelings of isolation. Our immune systems perform less effectively when we are lonely, which, over time, increases our susceptibility to a wide range of diseases and illnesses. Even short periods of isolation affect our innate immunity, which is why…

A college freshman who felt lonely reacted less favorably to the flu vaccine. Even a few days of loneliness was enough to impair the immune function of new college freshmen, as those who reported feeling lonely had lower sensitivities to seasonal flu vaccines than students who did not report feeling lonely. The cumulative effects of loneliness on our bodies are so devastating…

Loneliness is just as damaging as smoking. Scientists have established that considering all of the severe ways in which loneliness affects our bodies, it poses as significant a risk to our long-term health and quality of life as smoking cigarettes. According to studies, persistent loneliness raises the chance of premature death by 14 percent.

  • Fifty-two percent of Americans say they feel lonely in a survey conducted in 2022, while 47 percent say their interactions with others lack value.
  • Fifty-nine percent of Americans believe they have the best buddy, while 13 percent claim they have no close friends.
  • Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, and Denver are the 3 loneliest regions in the United States, with threefold the national average of loneliness.
  • Per capita, Wyoming is the most lonely state. Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Delaware are the ones to follow.
  • Wisconsin has the lowest rate of loneliness per capita in the United States, next by Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.
  • Fifty-seven percent of the lonely population of the USA resides in Georgia, New Jersey, New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas, the eight largest states with populations of at least 8 million.
  • Fifty-two percent of Americans have, at a certain point in their life, felt isolated, left out, or lonely.
  • Fifty-three percent of Americans attribute the difficulty of making friends to shyness.
  • Fifty-eight percent of Americans stated that they frequently or always feel as though no one understands or knows them well.
  • Being single is a common status for Americans, and this fact may have an immediate impact on how lonely they feel.
  • Seventy percent of adults in Washington, D.C. are single, which is 20 percent higher than in any other region in the U. S.
  • Second place goes to South Carolina, where 49 percent of the adults are single, and “I’m lonely” is the most-searched phrase on Google Trends.
  • Arizona ranks third with 48.89 percent of its adult population being single. 57 percent of Americans, single or not, report having every meal alone.

  • London is the world’s loneliest city, with 55 percent of its citizens reporting feelings of loneliness. With those figures in perspective, London would remain the loneliest city in the projected loneliness stats for 2023.
  • Europe has long-standing challenges with social isolation: 18 percent of its residents, or 75 million individuals, are socially isolated and lonely.
  • Statistics indicate that 14 percent of the population in the United Kingdom constantly feels lonely. Furthermore, 36 percent of the population feels too ashamed to admit feeling lonely around the holidays.
  • Forty-five percent (25 million) of adults in England experience loneliness sometimes, regularly, or frequently.
  • In Australia, 62 percent of young adults and 46 percent of the elderly report being lonely, while 55 percent of the population indicates that they lack company at least occasionally.
  • Twenty-five to thirty percent of the Canadian population experiences social isolation or persistent loneliness.
  • 1.54 percent of Japan’s population, or approximately 541,000 people, are hermits or loners.

The effects of loneliness on longevity are comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes daily. 

Actual or perceived social isolation is a factor that contributes to early mortality. Loneliness, social isolation, and living alone are correlated with an overall increase in mortality risk of 26, 29, and 32 percent across genders and geographies. 

A quarter of persons aged 65 years and older are socially isolated, and social isolation is connected with a risk of dementia that is around 50 percent higher. 

Chronically lonely older persons with heart problems are nearly four times more likely to die; they have a 57 percent greater risk of emergency room visits and a 68 percent higher likelihood of being admitted to the hospital. 

Multiple studies have found a correlation between social isolation and cardiovascular events, coronary arterial disease, and congestive cardiac failure. 

Poor connections resulting from loneliness or social isolation are related to a 32 percent greater risk of stroke and a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease. 

Chronic loneliness is also linked to a compromised immune system, cardiovascular illness, increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and an escalation of multiple morbidities and comorbidities. 

In general, people with impairments struggle more with loneliness: 50% are lonely, and 1 in 4 experience daily loneliness. 

One-third of autistic individuals report being socially isolated, indicating a prevalence of loneliness. 

Chronic isolation can raise the likelihood of developing mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. 

Additionally, loneliness increases the likelihood of engaging in high-risk activities, such as substance misuse. 

Loneliness can exacerbate the symptoms of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other unspecified eating disorders.

Despite a substantial overlap, loneliness and depressive symptoms are considered to be separate categories. 

In a study using linear regression and network analyses, the association between depressive symptoms and loneliness was determined. The prevalence of loneliness (sometimes or frequently) and moderate depression were, respectively, 47 and 24 percent.

Nonetheless, depression is a heterogeneous condition with varying clinical manifestations, making the premise that a diagnosis can be made based just on the number of symptoms of depression an oversimplification.

Similarly, a growing number of studies argue that psychopathology must be addressed at the level of individual symptoms.

The profile of symptoms of depression most significantly associated with loneliness has not been carefully explored. This knowledge may have significant clinical ramifications. For instance, depressed symptoms may contribute to a decreased need for social support and maladaptive social cognitions which are the starting points for treatments that effectively combat loneliness.

Moreover, even though loneliness frequently accompanies depression, symptoms of depression may also serve as a primary cause of loneliness.

  • A quarter of community-dwelling older individuals in the United States are deemed socially withdrawn, and approximately 43% of older adults feel lonely. The COVID-19 epidemic is raising the number of socially isolated older persons, both community-dwelling older individuals, and nursing facility residents since many nations have granted stay-at-home orders and prohibited visits for nursing care residents.
  • In the United States, 28 percent of the elderly live alone.
  • According to Japanese statistics, by 2040, forty percent of senior persons in Japan will live alone.
  • In June 2020, according to a survey conducted by the University of Michigan, 56 percent of persons aged 50 to 80 had feelings of isolation.
  • According to studies conducted in the United Kingdom, the number of adults over the age of 50 who experience feelings of loneliness or isolation will reach two million by 2025. Compared to 2016, when the number was 1,400,000, this is a 43 percent increase.
  • Twenty-three percent of individuals aged 75 and older who live alone do not speak to or see anyone daily, whereas 13 percent of those aged 55 and older do so three or four times each week.
  • In the United Kingdom, nearly half (about 5 million) of older persons claim that television is their primary companion.



The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


a successful and proven concept focusing on underlying causes


0 Before

Send Admission Request

0 Before

Define Treatment Goals

1 week

Assessments & Detox

1-4 week

Psychological & Holistic Therapy

4 week

Family Therapy

5-8 week


12+ week

Refresher Visit

Mental Health Insights

latest news & research on Mental Health
Mental Anguish
Mental Anguish

Mental anguish, a severe and extreme type of emotional pain, can cause profound and extensive effects on the life of a person

read more
Deal with financial stress
How To Deal With Financial Stress

Financial issues typically affect the entire family, and seeking the aid of your loved ones might be important to turn things around

read more
How to Increase Oxytocin
Unlocking the Feel-Good Vibes: How to Increase Oxytocin Naturally

Oxytocin is a natural hormone and neurotransmitter synthesized in the hypothalamus of the brain. [1]

read more
Our Top 10 Favourite Supplements for Mental Health

read more


British Psychology Society
Institute de terapia neural
pro mesotherapie
Somatic Experience


Woman & Home
National World
American Banker
Marie Claire
La Nacion
Metro UK
General Anzeiger
Live Science
Mallorca Magazin
Apartment Therapy
Express UK
Manager Magazin
Entrepreneur ME
Khaleej Times
Business Leader
The Guardian
Daily Mail
Mallorca Zeitung
Mirror Uk
The Times
The Standard
The Stylist