Loneliness is a growing concern globally, because of its reported impact on health and wellbeing. This report, published by the Australian Psychological Society and Swinburne University and released as part of Psychology Week, presents results from an online national survey of over 1,600 adults.
The report examines the prevalence of loneliness and how it affects the physical and mental health of Australians. It is the most comprehensive study of loneliness completed in Australia. The report includes tips on how people can connect with others.
- One in four Australian adults are lonely.
- One in two (50.5%) Australians feel lonely for at least one day in a week, while one in four (27.6%) feel lonely for three or more days.
- Nearly 55% of the population feel they lack companionship at least sometimes.
- One in four Australians experience high levels of social interaction anxiety.
- Australians who are married are the least lonely, compared to those who are single, separated or divorced. Australians in a de facto relationship are also less lonely than those who are single or divorced.
- Lonely Australians have significantly worse health status (both physical and mental) than connected Australians.
- Lonely Australians are 15.2% more likely to be depressed and 13.1% more likely to be anxious about social interactions than those not lonely.
- Australians over 65 years are least lonely; other age groups experience similar levels of loneliness.
- Australians over 65 years also report better physical and mental health, lower levels of social interaction anxiety, fewer depression symptoms and greater social interaction than younger Australians.
- Younger adults report significantly more social interaction anxiety than older Australians.
- Higher levels of loneliness are associated with higher levels of social interaction anxiety, less social interaction, poorer psychological wellbeing and poorer quality of life.
The report can be downloaded via the Psychology Week website.