Personality and loneliness: Is Britain a country of the lonely?

Milan DinicDirector - Content Strategy and Innovation
November 26, 2019, 11:30 AM GMT+0

There has been much discussion about the extent and impact of loneliness in Britain today. The YouGov Personality study has found that almost half of the population (47%) report experiencing loneliness at least a few times a month. A further one in ten (11%) say they personally experience loneliness a few times a week.

The numbers of those feeling loneliness most often are highest among the younger generations. Among 16-24 year-olds, where five in seven (71%) say they feel lonely from a few times a month to virtually all the time. On the other hand, two out of three (65%) of the over 55s – who are often perceived as the most lonely - say that they never, or hardly ever, feel lonely in a typical month.

People experience loneliness in a number of different ways: one in eight (12%) feel they don’t have contact with anyone who cares about them, and another 15% say they don’t have contact with anyone who understands them. A further one in ten (10%) say people do not know ‘the real me’. However, every fourth person in Britain (24%) say they feel content with being on their own.

One of the reasons people report they are lonely is because they feel there are barriers to interacting with others. In this respect, three in eight (36%) said a lack of confidence in communicating was one of the barriers, while one in three (32%) said financial impediments were what stopped them from reaching out.

You can use our interactive charts to compare results and filter them with other questions and crossbreaks. To find out more about the YouGov Personality Study click here.

Image: Getty

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