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Lonely Planet's digital presence included 140 apps and 8.5 million unique users for lonelyplanet.com, which hosted the Thorn Tree travel forum. BBC Worldwide acquired the remaining 25% of the company for £42.1 million (A$67.2 million) from the Wheelers.
Loneliness predicts morbidity and mortality from broad-based causes, but the reasons for this effect remain unclear. Few differences in traditional health behaviors (e.g., smoking, exercise, nutrition) have been found to differentiate lonely and nonlonely individuals. We present evidence that a prototypic restorative behavior--sleep--does make such a differentiation, not through differences in time in bed or in sleep duration, but through differences in efficacy: In the study we report here, lonely individuals evinced poorer sleep efficiency and more time awake after sleep onset than nonlonely individuals. These results, which were observed in controlled laboratory conditions and were found to generalize to the home, suggest that lonely individuals may be less resilient than nonlonely individuals in part because they sleep more poorly. These results also raise the possibility that social factors such as loneliness not only may influence the selection of health behaviors but also may modulate the salubrity of restorative behaviors.
Loneliness can be defined as perceived social isolation and appears to be a relatively common experience in adults. It carries a significant health risk and has been associated with heart disease, depression and poor recovery after coronary heart surgery. The mechanisms that link loneliness and morbidity are unclear but one of the mechanisms may be through poor health beliefs and behaviours. The aims of this cross-sectional survey of 1289 adults were to investigate differences in health behaviours (smoking, overweight, BMI, sedentary, attitudes towards physical activity) in lonely and non-lonely groups. Lonely individuals were more likely to be smokers and more likely to be overweight - obese. The lonely group had higher body mass index scores controlling for age, annual income, gender, employment and marital status. Logistic regression revealed no differences in sedentary lifestyles. Lonely individuals were significantly less likely to believe it was desirable for them to lose weight by walking for recreation, leisure or transportation. The findings provide support for an association between health behaviours, loneliness and excess morbidity reported in previous studies.
A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) points out that more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated.1 Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss.
Loneliness is the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact. Social isolation is a lack of social connections. Social isolation can lead to loneliness in some people, while others can feel lonely without being socially isolated.
Americans who belong to Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) are far more likely to say they were lonely growing up. A majority (56 percent) of Gen Zers report they felt lonely at least once or twice a month during their childhood. In contrast, only about one in four (24 percent) Baby Boomers say they felt lonely this often as children.
Unfortunately, these experiences are not limited to childhood. Our formative experiences are fairly strong predictors of where we end up as adults. Americans who had a lonely childhood are much more likely to report feeling lonely or isolated as adults. Two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans who felt lonely every day during childhood say that today they feel lonely or isolated all or most of the time. In contrast, only 7 percent of those who were never lonely during their childhood report they often feel lonely or isolated today. Roughly three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans who report they were never lonely growing up say that today they hardly ever or never feel lonely or isolated.
The experience of living through a parental divorce may also explain higher rates of childhood loneliness among young adults. Past research has shown that adolescents with divorced parents are more likely to struggle socially and experience greater feelings of social alienation. More recent studies bear this out. A 2021 survey found that more than half (52 percent) of Americans raised by divorced parents felt lonely at least once or twice a month growing up. In contrast, only a third (33 percent) of Americans raised by married parents say the same.
Finally, shrinking family size may play a part. Young adults today are significantly less likely to have been raised in large families. Even before the pandemic completely upended the conversation around child cost and family size, Americans were increasingly drawn to smaller families. A recent report shows that only children are also more likely to have been lonely growing up than those with siblings were.
To find lonely places in Europe, the authors of the report identified phenomena typically related to them. They then spotted the municipalities affected by two or more such attributes, locating 1200 of them. The highest intensity of territorial loneliness is in Czechia, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, and Slovakia, while Greece and Spain are the countries with the highest number of lonely places.
Depopulation is one of the typical characteristics of lonely places. Ageing and outmigration mean that these places get lonely in the literal sense. Remote and rural places are the hardest hit: around 30 per cent of the population in remote regions have experienced depopulation. Remote rural areas faced a -0.42 % compound annual growth rate in population between 1961 and 2018, reaching as low as -1.30 % in Spain.
Lonely places are not restricted to remote or rural municipalities. They can also be found in cities, where areas with low variety of urban amenities and essential services can have an impact on the daily routines of the residents, especially for people from disadvantaged groups in relation to mobility poverty. Migrants are often overrepresented in such lonely places that exist within otherwise well-connected functional urban areas. They are particularly exposed to discrimination and poverty in these disadvantaged areas.
To connect lonely places with the rest, the authors have several recommendations in mind. To diversify the economy of lonely places, which is often reliant on traditional primary sectors and low value-added services and, as a consequence, poorly resilient to shocks such as the 2008 Great Recession, building on the silver economy could work, offering services typical for older residents.
For halting rural flight, multi-locality could be promoted. Living costs in lonely places are frequently lower and they also have to endure less pollution but are close to natural beauty, making them ideal for second homes.
The Cohesion Policy for 2021-2017 includes the objective to draw up tailor-made, bottom-up strategies for fostering the sustainable and integrated development of all types of territories. It can be used to develop the untapped potential of lonely places, both in urban (as, for example, deprived neighbourhoods in functional urban areas) and rural areas (for example peripheral inner areas). The JRC is currently working together with Directorate-General REGIO on a handbook for integrated strategies in non-urban areas, which will complement the Handbook of Sustainable Urban Development Strategies published in 2020.
The Long Term Vision for Rural Areas, which identifies areas of action towards stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas and communities, can be a game-changer for lonely places. The Rural Pact connected to the vision is implemented starting this month.
The Territorial Agenda can also help lonely places. It calls on policy makers at all governance levels to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable future for all places and to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe. The agenda involves two pilot actions that could particularly benefit lonely places: A future for lagging regions and Small places matter.
America was facing mental health challenges prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that were fueled, in part, by an epidemic of loneliness that continues today. Our published studies show that loneliness impacts many people of all ages and all demographic groups across the country, and is particularly problematic among workers. Now, according to new, confirmatory data from Morning Consult commissioned by Cigna, 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.
People with lower incomes are lonelier than those with higher incomes. Nearly two-thirds of adults (63%) earning less than $50,000 per year are classified as lonely. This is 10 points higher than those earning $50,000 or more. Relatedly, almost three in four people (72%) who receive health benefits through Medicaid are classified as lonely, which is substantially more than the 55% of adults covered by private, employer- or union-provided health insurance benefits.
Young adults are twice as likely to be lonely than seniors. 79% of adults aged 18 to 24 report feeling lonely compared to 41% of seniors aged 66 and older. This is consistent with earlier research.
Men and women have roughly the same likelihood of loneliness. 57% of men and 59% of women reported being lonely. Loneliness levels were close to equal in 2018 as well, with 53% of men and 54% of women reporting feelings of loneliness. In 2019, data showed a spike in loneliness among men, with 63% experiencing loneliness compared to 58% of women. 781b155fdc