Statistics on Loneliness

Loneliness Statistics from the AARP

In 2010 the AARP surveyed thousands of Americans ages 45 and older as part of their Loneliness among Older Adults Survey. The researchers used the UCLA loneliness scale to gauge the feelings of participants. In addition, the survey looked at the causes of loneliness, the health impact of loneliness, the importance of social networks, loneliness statistics among churchgoers, and a variety of other interesting topics. Here are a few findings that may shed new insight on the individuals in your ministry:

  • A little over one-third (35%) of the survey respondents were categorized as lonely.
  • Older adults reported lower rates of loneliness than those who were younger (43% of those ages 45 - 49 were lonely compared to 25% of those 70+).
  • Married respondents were less likely to be lonely (29%) compared to never-married respondents (51%), and those with higher incomes were less likely to be lonely than those with lower incomes.
  • Lonely respondents were less likely to be involved in activities that build social networks, such as attending religious services, volunteering, participating in a community organization, or spending time on a hobby.
  • Almost half (45%) of those who had lived in their current residence for less than 1 year reported feeling lonely.
  • Loneliness was a significant predictor of poor health. Those who rated their health as “excellent” were less than half as likely to be lonely compared to those who rated their health as “poor” (25% vs. 55%). Drug use was also positively associated with loneliness.
  • Thirteen percent of lonely respondents said that they have fewer deep connections now that they keep in touch with friends and family online.

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