Almost 3 Million Over 60s Living Alone

The “Loneliness Epidemic” is affecting our elderly population

  • Almost 2 million women aged 60+ live alone in the UK
  • More than 1 million men aged 60+ live alone in the UK
  • South West of England has the highest percentage of over 60’s living alone

New research reveals almost 3 million over 60’s currently live alone and a number of them could be spending some of the festive season by themselves.

Almost two thirds of these are women who could be affected by the “loneliness epidemic”.

Loneliness within the UK population has been a prominent topic this year, with special focus put on the elderly generation, whose families have grown up and spouses that may have passed away.

At time of research there were 130 posts on Twitter using #loneliness in the last hour. In addition, there are 12,100 searches for “lonely” and another 12,100 for “loneliness” on Google every month with 1000 more searches admitting “I feel so alone”.

The research which was conducted by health and wellbeing provider Benenden, using YouGov data, shows which regions of the UK have the highest percentage of over 60’s living alone.

According to Office for National Statistics, there were 65,648,054 people in the UK in 2016 with 18% of these aged 65 and over; totalling 11,816,649 people.

This new data suggests there are 1,755,347 females over 60 year olds and 1,142,314 men, living in a single person household.

These new insights show that the South West has the highest percentage of over 60’s living alone (5.8%), followed closely by Wales (5.2%) and Scotland (5%).

Aside from these top three locations, elderly men living alone are most likely to reside in the North of England compared to women who more commonly live in the South East and Yorkshire.

The full regional breakdown can be found here.

Helen Smith, Commercial Director at Benenden said: “The loneliness epidemic is real and happening all around us and it isn’t just older people who suffer from loneliness; it affects all ages. The shocking statistics are there for all to see and highlight just how much of a challenge it is that our society needs to overcome.

“We’ve been highlighting loneliness over the Christmas period, detailing three simple but very realistic scenarios where loneliness can have an adverse effect on your health and mental wellbeing.

“Tackling loneliness is difficult but not impossible. You could reconnect with old friends and relatives, join a club, class or society, get lost in a book, get a pet, but – most importantly – remember you are not alone. And for others who aren’t necessarily suffering, there’s still the need to reach out to anyone they think might be lonely – especially at Christmas.”

Christmas sheds light on the issues our elderly population face. For help and advice on elderly loneliness and to view the extended research figures visit:

Find us

Southwark Carers
3rd Floor, Walworth Methodist Church,
54 Camberwell Road, London, SE5 0EW
View map and directions

Contact us

020 7708 4497

Find us

Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).

Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle

Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45