Almost a Quarter of the World Feels Lonely

Nearly one in four people worldwide — which translates to more than a billion people — feel lonely or somewhat lonely, according to a recent Meta- Gallup survey in more than 140 countries.

In fact, these numbers could be even higher. The survey represents approximately 77% of the world’s adults because it was not asked in the second most populous country in the world, China.

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With the World Health Organization and many others – including the US surgeon general – calling attention to the dangers of loneliness, these data, collected in partnership between Gallup and Meta, provide a much-needed global perspective. of social welfare.

the Global State of Social Connections report, which was launched on Nov. 1, 2023, will detail these and other country-level findings based on the first global study of loneliness, which includes country-representative surveys conducted in 142 countries and regions around the world.

Older Adults Report Lowest Levels of Loneliness

Global results show that the lowest rates of feeling lonely are reported by older adults (aged 65 and over), with 17% feeling lonely or somewhat lonely, while the the highest rate of feeling lonely was reported by young people (aged 19 to 29), with 27% feeling lonely or somewhat lonely.

Although many calls to reduce loneliness are aimed at older adults, the majority of those aged 45 and over do not feel lonely at all, while less than half of those younger than 45 say the same.

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Around the World, Men and Women Are Alone

Overall, rates of reported loneliness were similar for men and women. Global results show that 24% of men and women report feeling or are somewhat lonely.

In most countries, there is little or no gender difference in rates of feeling alone, but there are large gender gaps in some areas. Overall, there are more countries where the rate of self-reported loneliness is higher for women than for men (79 countries) than for the opposite pattern (63 countries).

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Half the World is Not Alone

Not everyone is alone. Forty-nine percent of people surveyed reported that they have never been alone, which translates to approximately 2.2 billion people across the 142 countries surveyed in this research.

Bottom Line

In countries around the world, millions of people experience loneliness in their daily lives. Research shows that loneliness is associated with high risk for a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, making research on loneliness an important first step in improving health and wellness around the world.

Overall, these global data show that a quarter of people report feeling lonely or somewhat lonely, with older people the least likely to report feelings of loneliness. Understanding the differences in how people experience — or do not experience — loneliness around the world could lead to new ways to alleviate loneliness and improve the social well-being of communities everywhere.

The upcoming report is about Global State of Social Connections examines how feelings of loneliness vary across countries and shares corresponding data on rates of social connection, which are higher (globally) than the loneliness data suggest.

For more, read Gallup and Meta’s recent report on State of Social Connectionwhich takes a broader view of social connection and loneliness in seven countries, and find the Global State of Social Connections report launched Nov. 1, 2023.

To stay up to date with the latest Gallup News insights and updates, follow us on X.

For complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Details of Gallup’s Country Data Set.

Learn more about how the Gallup World Poll works.

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