A "Loneliness Pandemic" is Developing in the European Union
OREANDA-NEWS. The European Joint Research Center (JRC), in its latest report on the situation of loneliness in the European Union, recorded a doubling of the number of people feeling lonely during the coronavirus pandemic.
Scientists also warn that there is a risk of a "loneliness pandemic" in the EU, which requires immediate intervention.
"According to the JRC report, every fourth resident of the EU feels lonely, the number of lonely people during the coronavirus pandemic has doubled in all age groups ... Compared to 2016, the level of loneliness among people aged 18-35 has quadrupled," report.
The document explains that if in 2016 about 12% of EU residents felt lonely, then during the pandemic this figure increased to 25%. At the same time, the problem of loneliness is equally acute today for all age categories, as well as for men and women. In addition, loneliness is equally acute for both urban and rural residents.
If before the pandemic Northern Europe had the lowest (only 6%) level of loneliness, today all regions of the European Union demonstrate almost the same level of loneliness (from 22% to 26%).
In addition, positive feelings (feelings of cheerfulness, calmness, activity, curiosity, interest) decreased by an average of 20-30% among EU residents, and negative emotions, including tension and depression, increased by the same figure.
"This increase in feelings of loneliness has certainly been influenced by sanitary isolation measures, but there is concern about a possible loneliness pandemic. This requires intervention and effective responses," the report says.
European politicians emphasize that a comprehensive work of all EU institutions is needed to overcome the European problem of loneliness.