London - Young mothers may be the loneliest people, researchers believe.
More than 40 percent of women who have babies before the age of 30 say they are lonely all or much of the time, a report by the Co-op Group and the British Red Cross reveals.
About 82 percent of mothers under 30 feel lonely some of the time, and a majority complain they no longer see their friends.
Other mothers in their teens and twenties say they have too little money to go out or they feel too tired.
Many of them would rather stay with their children than meet people, or say finding babysitters is too difficult to make it worthwhile.
Isolation among young mothers is particularly concentrated in single mothers, with 54 percent saying they are lonely often or all the time. While 39 percent of married or partnered mothers complain of loneliness.
The findings provide fresh evidence that loneliness most often afflicts the young and contradicts the widespread idea that older people are the most likely to be without friends.
The poll of 2 500 adults was carried out by Kantar Public and the research was also based on interviews with 100 people who said they were lonely.
Paul Gerrard of the Co-op said: "People do not think of young mothers as being susceptible to being lonely but our research clearly highlights that it is a major problem."