Loneliness around the world: Age, gender, and cultural differences in loneliness

Manuela Barreto, Christina Victor, Claudia Hammond, Alice Eccles, Matt T. Richins, Pamela Qualter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The BBC Loneliness Experiment provided a unique opportunity to examine differences in the experience of lonelines across cultures, age, and gender, and the interaction between these factors. Using those data, we analysed the frequency of loneliness reported by 46,054 participants aged 16–99 years, living across 237 countries, islands, and territories, representing the full range of individualism-collectivism cultures, as defined by Hofstede (1997). Findings showed that loneliness increased with individualism, decreased with age, and was greater in men than in women. We also found that age, gender, and culture interacted to predict loneliness, although those interactions did not qualify the main effects, and simply accentuated them. We found the most vulnerable to loneliness were younger men living in individualistic cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110066
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date26 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Apr 2020


  • loneliness
  • age
  • gender
  • cuture
  • BBC loneliness experiment


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