Loneliness and Social Assist Networks: Findings from the KFF Survey of Racism, Discrimination and Well being 


The problems of loneliness and social isolation gained extra consideration throughout the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and proceed to have relevance within the age of social media and synthetic intelligence and within the context of an getting old society. Loneliness and social isolation are related to numerous poor mental and physical Health circumstances. For instance, latest research suggests a causal relationship between loneliness and the onset of melancholy. Social isolation may also be linked to riskier substance use and is a threat issue for suicide and selfharm. Along with psychological Health circumstances, loneliness and social isolation are related to cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.

A number of efforts have been underway to extend consciousness of and deal with loneliness and isolation by means of coverage. In 2023, the Surgeon Normal issued an advisory on loneliness that features methods to advance social connection. Additionally in 2023, the National Strategy for Social Connection Act was introduced, which might enhance schooling, consciousness, and analysis on social connection, and create an workplace to advise the President and federal companies on the influence of loneliness and how you can enhance social infrastructure and group engagement. Different payments suggest standardizing the definition and measurements of loneliness, and addressing loneliness amongst elderly adults. A number of state and local-level initiatives have additionally been taken, and in 2024, Health-depression/14373042/”>San Mateo County in California turned the primary county to declare loneliness as a public Health emergency. A standard technique throughout many of those efforts includes bettering social connectedness. Social connectedness can mitigate loneliness and have a protecting impact on psychological Health. Nevertheless, methods to deal with loneliness are usually tailor-made to aged adults and will not successfully deal with loneliness amongst young individuals – a population that has more and more skilled loneliness over time. At a time when social improvement is essential, younger persons are spending much less time in-person with their friends, have excessive engagement with social media, and many work or attend college remotely.

This temporary examines loneliness and social assist networks by age, race, ethnicity, and different components based mostly on information from the 2023 KFF Racism, Discrimination and Health Survey, a big, nationally consultant survey based mostly on responses from over 6,000 adults. Key takeaways embrace:

One in six (15%) adults report feeling at all times or usually lonely up to now yr, rising to about three in ten (31%) amongst younger adults ages 18-29. Whereas no less than one in 5 younger adults say they’re at all times or usually lonely, the shares are greater amongst younger Black adults (35%) and younger White adults (33%) than they’re amongst younger Hispanic (24%) or younger Asian adults (22%). About one in 5 or extra girls, low-income adults, and LGBT adults additionally report feeling regularly lonely up to now yr.

Black, Hispanic, and Asian adults are considerably much less possible than White adults to report having a strong native assist community. Simply over 4 in ten Black adults (44%) and half of Hispanic and Asian adults (50% every) say they’ve no less than a good quantity of family and friends close by who they’ll ask for assist or assist in comparison with over half (56%) of White adults.

There’s a robust relationship between emotions of loneliness, native assist networks, and bodily and psychological Health and well-being. Throughout racial and ethnic teams, adults who say they’re at all times or usually lonely usually tend to report honest or poor bodily and psychological Health in comparison with those that report much less frequent loneliness. Equally, adults who say they’ve many mates or household close by who they’ll ask for assist or assist after they want IT are about half as possible as these with much less strong assist networks to report frequent loneliness in addition to poor or honest psychological or bodily Health standing.

The Prevalence of Loneliness

One in six adults (15%) say they at all times or usually felt lonely up to now yr, together with bigger shares of LGBT adults (33%), adults beneath age 30 (31%), decrease revenue adults (23% of these with family incomes beneath $40,000) and Black girls (22%). Throughout racial and ethnic teams, adults ages 18-29 report loneliness at a lot greater charges than older adults. General, about three in ten(31%) adults beneath age 30 say they’re at all times or usually lonely, no less than twice the share who report this amongst older age teams. Whereas no less than one in 5 younger adults say they’re at all times or usually lonely, the shares are greater amongst younger Black adults (35%) and younger White adults (33%) than they’re amongst younger Hispanic (24%) or Asian adults (22%). Amongst adults of all ages, Black adults are considerably extra possible than White adults (19% vs. 14%) to report feeling regularly lonely up to now yr.

Moreover, adults residing in decrease revenue households (lower than $40,000 yearly) are about thrice as prone to report frequent loneliness as are those that reside in greater revenue households ($90,000 or extra) (23% vs. 7%). This distinction is basically pushed by greater charges of loneliness amongst low-income White and Black adults in comparison with their counterparts with greater incomes. Conversely, reviews of feeling at all times or usually lonely are related throughout revenue amongst Asian and Hispanic adults.

There are additionally variations by gender and LGBT id when IT involves loneliness. General, girls (18%) are extra possible than males (13%) to say they’ve felt at all times or usually lonely up to now yr. Throughout girls, Black girls (22%) usually tend to report loneliness than are White (17%), Hispanic (16%), or Asian (15%) girls. Throughout racial and ethnic teams, LGBT adults are about twice as possible as non-LGBT adults to say they felt at all times or usually lonely up to now yr. For extra on LGBT adults’ experiences with discrimination and Health Care disparities, see KFF’s earlier report.

Social Assist Networks

Most adults say they’re no less than considerably happy with the variety of significant connections they’ve with different individuals. Whereas few adults (14%) say they’re dissatisfied with their connections, just like patterns of loneliness, shares are greater amongst decrease revenue adults (17%), adults with honest or poor bodily Health (22%), adults youthful than 30 (19%), and LGBT (19%) adults.

Black, Hispanic, and Asian adults are considerably much less possible than White adults to report having a strong native assist community. General, about half (53%) of adults say they’ve lots or a good quantity of family and friends members residing close by who they’ll ask for assist or assist, whereas the opposite half (47%) say they’ve only a few or no mates or household of their close by assist community. Black (44%), Hispanic (50%), and Asian (50%) adults are considerably much less possible than White (56%) adults to say they’ve no less than a good quantity of individuals of their native assist community. Amongst Asian and Hispanic adults, assist networks don’t differ a lot by age. In distinction, amongst Black adults, assist networks enhance with age, whereas amongst White adults, they lower with age.

Amongst White and Hispanic adults, these with greater family incomes usually tend to say they’ve extra native assist than these with decrease family incomes. Nevertheless, racial variations in assist networks are additionally evident amongst adults with greater incomes, as Black adults with family incomes of $90,000 or extra yearly (47%) are much less possible White (66%) adults at that revenue stage to say they’ve a powerful social assist community.

Amongst Black, Hispanic, and White adults, residing in a racially concordant neighborhood (one the place individuals say no less than half or extra of the individuals residing there share their racial/ethnic background) just isn’t related to having a stronger native assist community.

Loneliness, Social Assist Networks, and Psychological and Bodily Health are Strongly Related

There’s a robust affiliation between emotions of loneliness and self-reported psychological and bodily Health standing. Throughout racial and ethnic teams, adults who say they’re at all times or usually lonely usually tend to report honest or poor bodily and psychological Health in comparison with those that report much less frequent loneliness. About half (54%) of adults who say they’re regularly lonely report honest or poor psychological Health standing in comparison with about one in ten (11%) who say they don’t seem to be usually lonely. Equally, adults who say they’re regularly lonely are about twice as prone to report honest or poor bodily Health in comparison with those that are much less regularly lonely (33% vs. 17%), a sample that holds throughout racial and ethnic teams.

Adults who say they’ve a restricted native assist community are about twice as possible as these with stronger assist networks to report frequent emotions of loneliness in addition to honest or poor psychological and bodily Health. Adults who say they’ve only a few or no shut mates or household close by who they’ll ask for assist or assist are extra possible than these with no less than a good quantity of assist close by to report feeling at all times or usually lonely up to now yr (21% vs. 10%). About one in 4 adults (24%) with only a few or no household or mates close by report honest or poor psychological Health in comparison with about one in ten (11%) adults with a good quantity or quite a lot of native assist, a sample that persists throughout racial and ethnic teams. An identical sample exists when IT involves bodily Health standing.


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