Loneliness doubles across EU since COVID-19 pandemic

Loneliness doubles across EU since COVID-19 pandemic

One in four EU citizens reported feeling lonely during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

The report contains the latest scientific evidence on loneliness and social isolation in the EU, and analyzes the survey by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, showing that feelings of loneliness doubled across all age groups in the early months of the pandemic.

There was a four-fold increase in loneliness among 18-35 year olds, compared to 2016. Media coverage across the EU on the phenomenon of loneliness also doubled during the pandemic, with awareness of the issue varying widely across member states. The JRC report explores initiatives to tackle loneliness in 10 EU member states.

The report is the first step of broader collaborative work between the European Parliament and the Commission. The project will include new EU-wide data collection on loneliness, to be carried out in 2022, and the establishment of a web platform to monitor loneliness over time and across Europe.