Loneliness is a rising problem in modern societies. About six percent of Europeans can be described as permanently lonely. In general, it is more likely to become lonely for men than for women.
The problem affects whole Europe:
The situation is worst in Italy, where 13.2% of respondents lack someone to go to in difficulty, and in Luxembourg (12.9%), the Netherlands (10.2%), Portugal (9.6%), and Latvia (8.2 %).
Czechs are the least socially isolated, with just 1.9% saying that they have nobody to turn to. Finland also score well (2.1%), as did Slovakia (2.1%), Sweden (2.3%) and Hungary (2.8%).
Human beings are not meant to be or to feel lonely and it has negative impacts on physical and mental health.
A recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent, and stroke by 32 percent. Loneliness and isolation have been linked to stress, depression, and suicidal behaviour.
Loneliness is a problem of all ages. Sometimes, the external circumstances for the elderly are worse and there are more vulnerable due to the loss of friends and family and health problems. But also young people are affected and one reason for that is social networking, which
A 2010 report by the Mental Health Foundation found that the 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed were more likely than the over-55s to feel lonely often and to feel depressed because of loneliness.