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Study: 59% of Women, 41% of Seniors Feel Isolated

By Rhonda Collins, I Start Wondering Columnist and Dorian Martin, I Start Wondering Founder

The Cigna Group continues to track the rate of loneliness in U.S. adults. The group’s most recent study compared post-pandemic data with previous data taken in 2018 and 2019. Their finding: “more than half of U.S. adults (58%) are considered lonely. This is fairly consistent with pre-pandemic research that showed 61% of adults experiencing loneliness in 2019, after a seven percentage point increase from 2018.”

The latest data also suggests:

  • 59% of women report feeling isolated.

  • 16% of people ages 55 and older describe themselves as feeling left out.

  • 41% of seniors who are 66 years and older say they are lonely.

Photo By Anthony Tran on UnSplash
Photo By Anthony Tran on UnSplash

Additional demographic, economic, and location factors shed more light on the subject of loneliness. The researchers found:

  • Minorities (75% of Hispanics and 61% of African Americans) report more loneliness.

  • 63% of the poor (who earn less than $50,000 per year) are experiencing more loneliness than the general U.S. population (58%).

  • By a narrow margin, people who live in rural communities report being more lonely (47%) than people living in urban areas (46.7%) and suburban communities (44.7%).

Mental and physical health also play a role in the equation:

  • 77% of adults classified as having fair or poor physical health experience loneliness.

  • Adults classified as lonely are significantly more likely to have received a diagnosis or are receiving care for health issues such as sleep disorders, weight problems, and substance use.

  • Adults who have mental health issues are more than twice as likely to experience loneliness as those with strong mental health.

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