Those in their late teens and early 20s are three times more likely to spend most of their time alone and isolated than retirees. The finding come during a huge rise in social media use, which experts say can be seen by some teens as a substitute for real friends.
Analysis by counselling organisation Relate estimated that seven million adults – around 13 per cent of the population have no close friends.
Researchers found that an overall 18 per cent said they felt lonely most or all of the time. However the figure among the 16-24 age group rose to 32 per cent – nearly three times the number of over 65s. The survey did not break down the figures between younger retirees and the over 80s, who are more often isolated following bereavement.
The survey of 5,000 people, carried out for YouGov, also found that one in 20 Britons say they never feel loved. Relate chief Chris Sherwood said: ‘It is very concerning that so many people feel they do not have a single friend they can rely on. ‘Social relationships are essential to our health and well-being.’
© Daily Mail