According to a survey from the health insurance company Cigna, loneliness is a significant problem in the United States and affects most adults to some degree.
Researchers used the UCLA Loneliness Scale – a frequently-referenced and widely accepted 20-item questionnaire – to assess subjective feelings of loneliness and social isolation. For the purposes of the survey, a score of 43 or higher on the scale was used to indicate loneliness.
Forty-six percent of Americans over 18 who were surveyed reported sometimes or always feeling alone and left out. More than one in four people rarely or never feel understood, and two out of five sometimes or always feel isolated. Single parents in the survey were even more likely than those who live alone to feel lonely, and adults between 18 and 22 reported the highest levels of loneliness, which was not tempered by social media use.