Single parents and single people most vulnerable to severe lonelinessSingle people and single parents are more likely to feel lonely than couples and those living with their parent(s). There are equally large groups of singles (14 percent) and single parents (15 percent) who report they frequently feel lonely.
One-fifth of the single people and over one-quarter of single parents do have a steady partner, but do not live together with him or her. Those with a partner who is not a member of their household are less frequently lonely than those without a partner. Among singles without a partner, 16 percent say they frequently feel lonely; this share was 8 percent among the singles with a partner.
Severe social isolation among nearly one in five single parents
Loneliness can be a sense of either social or emotional isolation. Social isolation refers to the need for more social contacts, while being emotionally isolated means lacking an emotionally close relationship. 12 percent of all people aged 15 and over experience severe social isolation. In addition, 8 percent reported frequently feeling emotionally isolated.
|Gezinssituatie||Never lonely (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over )||Sometimes lonely (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over )||Frequently lonely (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over )|
|Child at home||66.5||25.8||7.7|
|Partner without children||69.8||24.1||6.0|
|Partner with children||72.2||21.0||6.8|
Single people and single parents are more likely to report social isolation than couples and children living at home. Among single parents, 18 percent report severe social isolation and the need for more social contacts; among single people, this share amounted to 16 percent. Single people and single parents are more likely than other groups to experience severe emotional isolation.
|Positie huishouden||Severe emotional isolation (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)||Severe social isolation (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)|
|Child at home||6.5||9.0|
|Partner, without children||5.3||9.8|
|Partner, with children||5.1||11.0|
Nearly 1 in 10 people aged 75 and over are frequently lonely
Moderate loneliness is more prevalent among the elderly (i.e. people aged 75 and over) than among people under the age of 75. One out of 3 people aged 75 and over report feeling somewhat lonely. This share is around 1 in 4 among the under-75s. Frequent feelings of loneliness are felt by 9 percent of people aged 75 and over. This is similar to the levels reported by people in younger age groups.
|Leeftijdscatehorie||Never lonely (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)||Sometimes lonely (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)||Frequently lonely (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)|
|15 to 24 yrs||65.7||25.2||9.0|
|25 to 34 yrs||67.5||24.6||7.9|
|35 to 44 yrs||66.3||22.8||10.9|
|45 to 54 yrs||65.3||26.1||8.6|
|55 to 64 yrs||66.1||26.0||8.0|
|65 to 74 yrs||67.5||24.7||7.8|
|75 yrs and over||58.2||32.9||8.8|
Social and emotional isolation equally prevalent among elderlyAmong those aged 75 years and over, frequent feelings of emotional isolation are almost just as prevalent as frequent feelings of social isolation. The same applies to young people under the age of 35. People between the ages of 35 and 75, however, are more likely to have frequent feelings of social rather than emotional isolation. In addition, this age group has a higher prevalence of frequently experienced social isolation (13 percent) than those under 35 or over 75 (both 10 percent). The elderly aged 75 and over are more likely to report some emotional isolation than those in younger age groups. The fact that elderly are more often single plays a role.
|Leeftijdscategorie||Severe emotional isolation (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)||Severe social isolation (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)|
|15 to 24 yrs||8.2||10.1|
|25 to 34 yrs||7.9||9.7|
|35 to 44 yrs||8.0||13.6|
|45 to 54 yrs||7.3||13.6|
|55 to 64 yrs||7.3||13.2|
|65 to 74 yrs||7.1||12.1|
|75 yrs and over||10.9||9.7|
Figures in this news release concern the year 2019 and are based on the Social cohesion and well-being survey. Furthermore, the figures in this news release refer to different age categories (i.e. 15 years and over instead of 19 years and over) than in the survey. The survey design and implementation are not entirely comparable.