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KNOWLEDGE FOR POLICY

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Projects and activities | 9 August 2022

Loneliness in the European Union

About

Loneliness and social isolation are becoming increasingly recognised as public issues that need to be addressed with effective policy interventions.

In 2016, about 12% of EU citizens felt lonely more than half of the time. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the problem. In the first months following the COVID-19 outbreak, the proportion of EU citizens felt lonely more than half of the time doubled to around 25%.

Loneliness and social isolation are not just harmful to mental and physical health but can also have significant consequences for social cohesion and community trust.

 

Read the latest JRC Publications

 

How lonely are European citizens?

Share of respondents feeling lonely more than half of the time the two weeks preceding the interview
Share of respondents feeling lonely more than half of the time the two weeks preceding the interview (© Data sources: JRC calculations using Eurofound, 2016 EQLS and 2020 LWC surveys)

 

Why does loneliness matter?

Loneliness - infographics

 

Loneliness Interventions

► Roundtable with experts: Effective actions to address loneliness

On October 11th 2022, the JRC will organise an online Roundtable to discuss the findings of the work on loneliness so far, collect emerging effective actions, and contribute to the discussion at EU level.

More information will be soon available.

 

► Interventions to reduce loneliness among youth

On May 12th 2022, the JRC organised an online seminar with academics, practitioners and policy-makers on interventions to reduce loneliness among youth.

See the agenda

See the report

 

► Informal Expert Meeting

On December 7th 2021, the JRC organised an informal expert meeting with academics, practitioners and policy-makers on interventions to address loneliness in Europe.

See the meeting report and agenda

 

Want to know more?

 

Next steps

The JRC will continue working on loneliness in the framework of a collaboration between the European Parliament, the European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, and the JRC.

The project will include a 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.

 

Other institutions working on loneliness

world health organization
(©EU)

WHO - World Health Organization

Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection
(©EU)

GILC - Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection

Recent presentations

How social connection influences healthJulianne Holt-Lunstad

The introduction of a systemic, socio-ecological framework for action, Edward Garcia, Julianne Holt-Lunstad

Togetherness Hub
(©EU)

TH - Togetherness Hub

 

Get in contact with us

EC-FAIRNESS-COP@ec.europa.eu

 

Latest knowledge

Loneliness logo