Over 9 million people, almost a fifth of the population, say they often or always feel lonely according to the Campaign to End Loneliness.
Almost half (49%) of UK adults say that their busy lives stop them from connecting with other people.
Loneliness can affect us at any time in our lives. Moving to a new area, having a baby or losing a job can all lead to loneliness.
Loneliness can be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day according to researchers from Brigham Young University.
As we get older the loss of a partner or poor health can make us vulnerable to loneliness. Age UK figures suggest 1.9 million older people often feel invisible or ignored.
Teenagers and young adults are also feeling lonely. The Office for National Statistics has reported that 11% of 10 to 15 year olds say they ‘often’ feel lonely.