Just the Facts: Feeling isolated? You are not alone

A person’s need for human companionship and social activity are key factors that influence happiness and satisfaction.

June 9, 2011 15:11
1 minute read.
Perentage reporting nevery feeling lonely 2009

Just the Facts isolation 311. (photo credit: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies)


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Isolation is a psychological state characterized by feeling distant and removed from others, along with a strong desire to connect with people. A person’s need for human companionship and social activity are key factors that influence happiness and satisfaction.

The 2009 Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics asked respondents if and how often they had felt lonely in the past.

The results indicate that Jerusalemites feel less lonely than the residents of other major cities in Israel. Fifty-five percent of Jerusalemites reported that they never feel lonely, as compared with 37% of Tel Aviv’s residents, 50% of Haifa’s residents and 44% of Ashdod’s residents.

On the flip side, the percentage of respondents who reported feeling lonely often was about the same across these four cities, ranging between 7% and 10%.

Feelings of isolation are more common among seniors than young adults. Nearly 25% of seniors in Israel reported that they often felt lonely, compared with 6% of respondents between the ages of 20 and 39.

The survey demonstrates a clear negative link between feelings of isolation and religiosity. Some 72% of haredi respondents reported never experiencing feelings of isolation, compared with 50% of national-religious individuals and 45% of secular Jews.

The fact that haredim are less affected by feelings of isolation might be explained by their communal lifestyle and the fact that they tend to have larger families.

The survey results show a clear gender gap. About 10% of women reported that they often felt lonely, compared with 7% of men. Furthermore, 41% of women reported never to have experienced feelings of isolation, compared with 54% of men.


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