Risk factors for loneliness


Loneliness can affect us all, at any stage in our lives. However, research indicates that some personal characteristics, social and structural factors, and certain life events can increase our risk of experiencing loneliness.

Our report Loneliness Beyond Covid-19 found that during the pandemic, although the social restrictions were universal, their impact on loneliness was highly unequal and exacerbated existing inequalities. 

People who were already lonely were likely to get lonelier, as were those at greater risk of loneliness because of factors such as health, income, ethnicity, sexuality or gender identity. In contrast, those with strong social connections were likely to feel less lonely, as they spent more time with family and in their local community.