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Jul 10, 2024, 11:34am EDT

More than one in five people are lonely a lot, Gallup survey finds

Maye-E Wong/Reuters
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More than one in five people report feeling lonely in the past day, according to a new global mental health survey by Gallup.

The survey found some 23% of people said they felt loneliness “a lot of the day yesterday,” and that despite mental health generally trending better in the last year after a low during the COVID-19 pandemic, the levels of loneliness people experience remain persistently higher than other negative emotions.

People who felt lonely were also more than 30% likelier to experience other negative emotions than their peers, including sadness, stress, and worry.

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Age and economic indicators played a role. People over 50 are more likely to feel lonely in many countries, but this trend is reversed in the US and China, where more young adults report feeling lonely a lot. Those who said they struggled to make ends meet are also about twice as likely to feel lonely than their comfortable counterparts. The results suggest loneliness is a “public policy” challenge, rather than a purely personal one.

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