Americans who live alone report depression at higher rates, but social support helps

People living alone are more likely to report feeling depressed compared to those living with others, according to a new study by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. And that effect is particularly stark for people living alone who say they have little or no social and emotional support.

“The most interesting takeaway from this study was the importance of feeling supported,” says social scientist Kasley Killam, who wasn’t involved in the new study. “And this is consistent with other evidence showing that social support and emotional support really play a pivotal role in people’s overall health and well-being.”

The new study comes at a time when the number of single person households in the U.S. has skyrocketed. In the decade from 2012 to 2022, the number of Americans living alone jumped by nearly 5 million to 37.9 million.

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