Loneliness is a recurring theme in classic songs, from Elvis Presley’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight” to “Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

But it’s not just artists that feel the pain.

Loneliness is a growing public health problem—a hidden epidemic threatening our well-being, and even our livelihood. One-third of Americans over age 45 feel lonely, according to AARP. Researchers at Britain’s Brunel University found the prevalence of loneliness especially high among those under 25 and over 65 years old.

Modern life may be the culprit. More people live alone than ever before—about one-third of Americans older than 65 and half of those over 85, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Marriage and fertility rates have fallen. People are more mobile and more likely to live apart from friends and family than in past generations.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

Published: April 18, 2018