• In total, 45% of adults feel occasionally, sometimes or often lonely in England. This equates to 25 million people.[1]
  • Demographic trends in the UK mean the number of over 50s suffering from loneliness is set to reach two million by 2025/6. This compares to around 1.4 million in 2016/7 – a 49% increase in 10 years.[2]
  • In 2016 to 2017, there were 5% of adults (aged 16 years and over) in England reporting feeling lonely “often/always” – that’s 1 in 20 adults. Furthermore, 16% of adults reported feeling lonely sometimes and 24% occasionally. [3]
  • Characteristics of people who are more likely to experience loneliness include: those who are widowed, those with poorer health and those with long-term illness or disability. 43.45% of the group reporting bad or very bad health are often/always lonely.
  • Loneliness demonstrates a U-shaped distribution, with those aged under 25 years and those aged over 65 demonstrating the highest levels of loneliness.[4]


For more information see:


[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/methodologies/measuringlonelinessguidanceforuseofthenationalindicatorsonsurveys

[2] https://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-press/articles/2018/october/all-the-lonely-people-report/

[3] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/lonelinesswhatcharacteristicsandcircumstancesareassociatedwithfeelinglonely/2018-04-10

[4] Victor, C.R. and Yang, K., 2012. The prevalence of loneliness among adults: a case study of the United Kingdom. The Journal of psychology, 146(1-2), pp.85-104