“Older people spend more time alone, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lonely”

alone not lonely

As we go through life we build personal relationships with different people – family, friends, coworkers, partners. These relationships, which are deeply important to all of us, evolve with time. As we grow older we build new relationships while others transform or fade, and towards the end of life many of us spend a lot of time alone.

“Taking the big picture over the entire life course: Who do we actually spend our time with?

“From adolescence to old age: who do we spend our time with?

“To understand how social connections evolve throughout our lives we can look at survey data on how much time people spend with others, and who that time is spent with.

“The chart below shows the amount of time that people in the US report spending in the company of others, based on their age. The data comes from time-use surveys, where people are asked to list all the activities that they perform over a full day, and the people who were there during each activity. We currently only have data with this granularity for the US – time-use surveys are common across many countries, but what is special about the US is that respondents of the American Time Use Survey are asked to list everyone who was present for each activity.

alone not lonely 2

Read this article in his entirety – click here.

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