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The Loneliest People Live in These States

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One is the Loneliest Number

Humans are social creatures, so the pandemic's lockdowns and social-distancing measures have taken an understandable toll on mental health. It's difficult to quantify loneliness, but a new report from Aging in Place looks at a number of factors to determine which states are the loneliest. Metrics like single-person households, the number of people who have been widowed, divorce rates, and searches for dating and friendship apps were all used to determine which U.S. states have the loneliest residents


Related28 Ways to Beat Loneliness in Retirement

Storm clouds approaching
northlightimages/istockphoto

One is the Loneliest Number

Humans are social creatures, so the pandemic's lockdowns and social-distancing measures have taken an understandable toll on mental health. It's difficult to quantify loneliness, but a new report from Aging in Place looks at a number of factors to determine which states are the loneliest. Metrics like single-person households, the number of people who have been widowed, divorce rates, and searches for dating and friendship apps were all used to determine which U.S. states have the loneliest residents


Related28 Ways to Beat Loneliness in Retirement

Scenic Wabash river vista in the summer set against dramatic sky, Indiana
akrassel/istockphoto
Scenic Wabash river vista in the summer set against dramatic sky, Indiana
akrassel/istockphoto
Drone View over Southern Montana Farmland
Allen Allnoch/istockphoto

13. Montana (tie)

Loneliness score: 5.6 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 30.69%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.1%

Percentage of people divorced: 12%


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Drone View over Southern Montana Farmland
Allen Allnoch/istockphoto

13. Montana (tie)

Loneliness score: 5.6 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 30.69%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.1%

Percentage of people divorced: 12%


RelatedThese Are the Best Dogs For Seniors

Table Rock Lake in Branson at Southwest Missouri
Cavan Images/istockphoto

13. Missouri (tie)

Loneliness score: 5.60 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 30.25%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.5%

Percentage of people divorced: 12%

Table Rock Lake in Branson at Southwest Missouri
Cavan Images/istockphoto

13. Missouri (tie)

Loneliness score: 5.60 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 30.25%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.5%

Percentage of people divorced: 12%

Desert valley and mountains
Timothy Messick/istockphoto

12. Nevada

Loneliness score: 5.64 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 28.52%

Percentage of people widowed: 5.5%

Percentage of people divorced: 14%


Nevada's high percentage of divorced people is matched by only one other state: Maine.

Desert valley and mountains
Timothy Messick/istockphoto

12. Nevada

Loneliness score: 5.64 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 28.52%

Percentage of people widowed: 5.5%

Percentage of people divorced: 14%


Nevada's high percentage of divorced people is matched by only one other state: Maine.

15. Michigan
Davel5957/istockphoto

11. Michigan

Loneliness score: 5.68 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 30.49%

Percentage of people widowed: 6%

Percentage of people divorced: 12%

15. Michigan
Davel5957/istockphoto

11. Michigan

Loneliness score: 5.68 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 30.49%

Percentage of people widowed: 6%

Percentage of people divorced: 12%

US Capitol with armed barricades in foreground
paulwoodson/istockphoto

10. District of Columbia

Loneliness score: 5.8 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 44.75%

Percentage of people widowed: 4.6%

Percentage of people divorced: 4.8%


D.C., considered a state for this study's purposes, has the largest percentage of single-person households by far. North Dakota is a distant second, with 33.66%.

US Capitol with armed barricades in foreground
paulwoodson/istockphoto

10. District of Columbia

Loneliness score: 5.8 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 44.75%

Percentage of people widowed: 4.6%

Percentage of people divorced: 4.8%


D.C., considered a state for this study's purposes, has the largest percentage of single-person households by far. North Dakota is a distant second, with 33.66%.

Wilmington Delaware
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

9. Delaware

Loneliness score6.00 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 28.8%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.3%

Percentage of people divorced: 11%

Wilmington Delaware
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

9. Delaware

Loneliness score6.00 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 28.8%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.3%

Percentage of people divorced: 11%

Tower bridge in Narragansett Rhode Island drone view
Jason Heid/istockphoto

7. Rhode Island (tie)

Loneliness score: 6.20 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.02%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.2%

Percentage of people divorced: 11%


A lot of Rhode Islanders are looking for love on dating apps, according to Aging in Place's data. 

Tower bridge in Narragansett Rhode Island drone view
Jason Heid/istockphoto

7. Rhode Island (tie)

Loneliness score: 6.20 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.02%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.2%

Percentage of people divorced: 11%


A lot of Rhode Islanders are looking for love on dating apps, according to Aging in Place's data. 

Park benches along Willamette River at Riverfront City Park in Salem OR sunset
thyegn/istockphoto

7. Oregon (tie)

Loneliness score: 6.20 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 28.14%

Percentage of people widowed: 5.3%

Percentage of people divorced: 13%


Oregon is also looking for companionship online, though the more platonic sort — it has a lot of residents searching for friendship apps online. 

Park benches along Willamette River at Riverfront City Park in Salem OR sunset
thyegn/istockphoto

7. Oregon (tie)

Loneliness score: 6.20 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 28.14%

Percentage of people widowed: 5.3%

Percentage of people divorced: 13%


Oregon is also looking for companionship online, though the more platonic sort — it has a lot of residents searching for friendship apps online. 

Colorful fall in Appalachian Mountains, Pennsylvania. The aerial remote view on Lehighton along with the Lehigh River.
Alex Potemkin/istockphoto

6. Pennsylvania

Loneliness score: 6.00 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 30.15%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.8%

Percentage of people divorced: 10%

Colorful fall in Appalachian Mountains, Pennsylvania. The aerial remote view on Lehighton along with the Lehigh River.
Alex Potemkin/istockphoto

6. Pennsylvania

Loneliness score: 6.00 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 30.15%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.8%

Percentage of people divorced: 10%

Montpelier, Vermont Skyline
SeanPavonePhoto/istockphoto

5. Vermont

Loneliness score: 6.28 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.64%

Percentage of people widowed: 5.6%

Percentage of people divorced: 13%

Montpelier, Vermont Skyline
SeanPavonePhoto/istockphoto

5. Vermont

Loneliness score: 6.28 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.64%

Percentage of people widowed: 5.6%

Percentage of people divorced: 13%

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Faina Gurevich/istockphoto

4. New Mexico

Loneliness score: 6.60 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.32%

Percentage of people widowed: 6%

Percentage of people divorced: 13%

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Faina Gurevich/istockphoto

4. New Mexico

Loneliness score: 6.60 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.32%

Percentage of people widowed: 6%

Percentage of people divorced: 13%

Toledo Skyline, River, and Bridge Aerial View
Davel5957/istockphoto

3. Ohio

Loneliness score: 6.68 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.08%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.4%

Percentage of people divorced: 12%


Lonely Ohioans are searching for dating apps in large numbers, Aging in Place says, and the state has a relatively large percentage of single-person households.

Toledo Skyline, River, and Bridge Aerial View
Davel5957/istockphoto

3. Ohio

Loneliness score: 6.68 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.08%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.4%

Percentage of people divorced: 12%


Lonely Ohioans are searching for dating apps in large numbers, Aging in Place says, and the state has a relatively large percentage of single-person households.

Florida Beach Aerial
Art Wager/istockphoto

2. Florida

Loneliness score: 7.00 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 28.64%

Percentage of people widowed: 7%

Percentage of people divorced: 13%


Florida is a magnet for retirees, Aging in Place notes, so it has a larger percentage of widowed and divorced residents that drive up its score. 

Florida Beach Aerial
Art Wager/istockphoto

2. Florida

Loneliness score: 7.00 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 28.64%

Percentage of people widowed: 7%

Percentage of people divorced: 13%


Florida is a magnet for retirees, Aging in Place notes, so it has a larger percentage of widowed and divorced residents that drive up its score. 

Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine, USA at sunrise
sara_winter/istockphoto

1. Maine (Loneliest)

Loneliness score7.60 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.19%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.5%

Percentage of people divorced: 14%


Maine's relatively high percentage of single-person households and divorced people helped propel the Pine Tree State to the top of the list.

Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine, USA at sunrise
sara_winter/istockphoto

1. Maine (Loneliest)

Loneliness score7.60 out of 10

Percentage of single-person households: 31.19%

Percentage of people widowed: 6.5%

Percentage of people divorced: 14%


Maine's relatively high percentage of single-person households and divorced people helped propel the Pine Tree State to the top of the list.

A mother and her baby son visit Capitol reef National park in Utah, USA
kapulya/istockphoto

Least Lonely States

On the flipside, the least lonely state is Utah, by far. Its loneliness score is only 0.72 out of 10 thanks to low rates of single-person households (19.16%), number of people widowed (3.8%), and divorce (9%). The other least lonely states:

  • Alaska (2.32 out of 10)
  • Hawaii (2.56 out of 10)
  • California (3.04 out of 10)
  • Texas (3.08 out of 10)
  • Idaho (3.36 out of 10)
  • Wyoming (3.48 out of 10)
  • Virginia (3.52 out of 10)
  • Georgia (3.64 out of 10)
  • South Dakota (3.76 out of 10)

Related: How the Pandemic Has Changed Divorce

A mother and her baby son visit Capitol reef National park in Utah, USA
kapulya/istockphoto

Least Lonely States

On the flip side, the least lonely state is Utah, by far. Its loneliness score is only 0.72 out of 10 thanks to low rates of single-person households (19.16%), number of people widowed (3.8%), and divorce (9%). The other least lonely states:

  • Alaska (2.32 out of 10)
  • Hawaii (2.56 out of 10)
  • California (3.04 out of 10)
  • Texas (3.08 out of 10)
  • Idaho (3.36 out of 10)
  • Wyoming (3.48 out of 10)
  • Virginia (3.52 out of 10)
  • Georgia (3.64 out of 10)
  • South Dakota (3.76 out of 10)

Related: How the Pandemic Has Changed Divorce