Loneliness NZ

Loneliness and social isolation are different

Social isolation is where you do not interact socially with others; whereas loneliness is an emotional state that arises from not having the desired sufficient meaningful connections with others. During COVID-19 lockdown, the Social Wellbeing Agency published an excellent short report on the difference between loneliness and social isolation. 

Using responses to the General Social Survey 2018, they prepared a visualisation of loneliness versus social isolation to show which demographic groups are more likely to be social isolated and/or lonely (see Figure 1 below). Seniors are not shown in the Figure but are off the chart in the top left quadrant.

Graph of social isolation versus loneliness

Published with permission of the Social Wellbeing Agency