The constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic have doubled the number of Europeans feeling lonely, the European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) reported on Monday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 26th July, 2021) The constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic have doubled the number of Europeans feeling lonely, the European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) reported on Monday.
"One in four EU citizens reported feeling lonely most of the time during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. ... This is more than double the levels of loneliness reported in a similar survey conducted in 2016. And it is young people most affected by social distancing and quarantining measures. The share of 18-25 year olds who reported feeling lonely was four times higher in April-July 2020 than in 2016," the JRC said in a press release.
The 70-page report, dubbed "Loneliness in the EU: Insights from surveys and online media data," found that the share of EU residents who feel lonely has increased from 12% in 2016 to 25% in 2020-2021.
"Loneliness is affecting all regions of Europe, with reported loneliness levels of between 22% and 26% across regions. This is in contrast to pre-pandemic times, when loneliness was lowest in northern Europe (6% reported feeling lonely in 2016)," the statement read.
"Concerns about a possible loneliness pandemic are gaining momentum," the report said.
European Commission Vice President for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Suica noted that the pandemic intensified problems like loneliness and social isolation to the fore.
"These feelings already existed, but there was less public awareness of them," she said, adding "We have an opportunity to reflect on how to build together a more resilient, cohesive society and an EU that is closer to its citizens."
The next research on loneliness among EU residents is expected to be conducted in 2022, and it is also planned to create an online platform for monitoring loneliness in real-time.