Loneliness in the Netherlands has increased. In 2021, 11 percent of Dutch people aged 15 and older felt ‘strongly’ lonely, compared to 9 percent two years earlier. This is evident from figures published on Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Almost a third of the respondents to the CBS survey felt ‘somewhat’ lonely, compared to a quarter in 2019. Single parents in particular have become lonelier in two years.

    Statistics Netherlands makes a distinction between ’emotional loneliness’, when you lack a close bond, and ‘social loneliness’, when you need more social contact. Young people between the ages of 15 and 25 most often felt emotionally lonely in 2021, while in 2019 this was still the group of over-75s. The age groups that experienced too little social contact last year were mainly 45 to 55 year olds (19 percent) and 25 to 45 year olds (15 percent).

    40 million euros

    Loneliness has been a growing problem for years. The corona crisis has had an impact on every age group. Young people and single elderly people in particular had a hard time mentally because of the imposed social restrictions. On Wednesday, State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen (Public Health, ChristenUnie) announced that the cabinet will 40 million euros extra available to combat loneliness in society. The money is mainly used for research into loneliness and to support initiatives that tackle the ‘urgent’ problem.

    CBS published another study on Thursday. This showed that the group of people who “couldn’t function well in society on several fronts” in 2010 was still the same ten years later. Hereby ‘socially excluded’ Another factor is the fact that they often have a low income, payment arrears and little contact and do not receive professional assistance. Only the group of young people was in slightly better shape after ten years.