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Study Finds Problems With Family Is the Leading Source of Loneliness

The less you like your family, the more lonely you feel.

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People who aren’t happy with their family life are more likely to feel lonely or isolated, according to recent data from the Pew Research Center. In a study published Monday, researchers found that over a quarter of Americans (28 percent) who are dissatisfied with their families feel isolated “all or most of the time,” compared to just seven percent of those who are satisfied with their relatives.

A similar trend applies to people’s social lives. Those who are satisfied with their friends and relationships outside of their families were significantly less lonely than those who were dissatisfied with their social lives, with a mere five percent compared to a startling 26 percent.

Other factors that significantly influence loneliness include community attachment, marital status, and economic status. The number of lonely Americans who aren’t happy with the area or neighborhood they live in is about one in five, which is nearly triple the number of those who are more content with their community or who know more of their neighbors.

And those who are divorced or unmarried are likely to face the same fate, with 17 percent of single adults feeling lonely compared to just six percent of their married peers. Money plays a factor in the equation, too. People who aren’t satisfied with their personal finances (17 percent) or who have an annual income below $30,000 (16 percent) are more apt to feel lonely than those who are financially secure (five percent) or who have a higher income (six percent).

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Overall, one in 10 Americans say they feel lonely or isolated more often than not, across all ages, races, and genders. That’s a result that supports numerous studies showing that loneliness is a growing trend in the U.S. In fact, according to one study in particular, by the time they’re 80, people will spend half of their waking day completely alone.