Loneliness jumped 7 percentage points in 2019: 4 key findings

Loneliness spiked in 2019, and now a majority of Americans (61 percent) say they are lonely, according to Cigna's "2020 Loneliness Index."

Cigna observed a 7 percentage-point increase in loneliness from 2018-19. "The trends shaping how we work — increasing use of technology, more telecommuting and the always-on work culture — are leaving Americans more stressed, less rested, spending more time on social media, and less time with friends and family," David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, said in a press release.

Loneliness and social isolation can have negative effects on health and productivity in the workplace. The issue has attracted the attention of legislators, who are working to pass legislation to address loneliness and social isolation among Medicare beneficiaries. However, the results of the Cigna survey indicate the problem is much broader than that.

Four key findings:

  • Younger generations, particularly people ages 18-22, are lonelier.
  • Men's loneliness jumped more than women's in the past year.
  • People whose self-reported health is fair or poor tend to be lonelier than those who describe themselves as in very good or good health.
  • Entry-level employees and senior executives are the loneliest groups in the workplace.

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