Younger people struck by loneliness during pandemic

New ONS data has shown that the chances of someone aged 16 to 24 reporting feeling lonely were around four times greater than someone aged 75 and over.

Levels of loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic tended to be higher in areas where there are a lot of younger people and higher rates of unemployment, the figures found. People living in areas with higher crime rates or with higher levels of anxiety were also more likely to report feelings of loneliness.

Factors that contributed to experiences of loneliness included living alone, difficulties with relationships caused by the pandemic, and not having anyone to talk to.

The ONS figures suggest 7.2 per cent of the UK’s adult population felt lonely ‘often or always’ between October 2020 and February 2021. This is equivalent to around 3.7 million people.

The region with the highest rate of loneliness in England was the northeast (8.7 per cent), whilst east England recorded to lowest (6.5 per cent). Figures for individual local authorities, where the sample size was large enough to ensure reliable estimates, show Tameside (15.1 per cent), Leicester (14.3 per cent) and Stoke-on-Trent (13.7 per cent) as having the highest loneliness rates in Britain.

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