Tuesday, August 07, 2018

How Many Are Lonely?

Nearly 1 in 12 Americans aged 18 or older reported feeling lonely most or all of the time during the past week, according to the 2016 General Social Survey. Several questions in the 2016 survey probed the public's emotional health. The good news is that few of us spent most of the past week feeling bad. The bad news is that some of us did. Five percent felt depressed most or all of the time in the past week, 6 percent felt sad, and 8 percent felt lonely.

Felt lonely most or all of the time in the past week
Aged 18 to 29: 7.4%
Aged 30 to 39: 4.4%
Aged 40 to 49: 9.4%
Aged 50 to 59: 11.9%
Aged 60 to 69: 7.4%
Aged 70-plus: 5.1%

Loneliness peaks among people in their 50s, with 12 percent saying they felt lonely most or all of the time. One factor that may cause loneliness in this age group is the emptying nest. Loneliness is least likely among people in their 30s, the crowded-nest years. The oldest Americans—people aged 70 or older—are one of the age groups least likely to feel lonely.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

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