The Top 12 Loneliest Countries in Europe

There can be many reasons that cause us humans to develop feelings of loneliness and solitude, whether it be down to a lack of friends and support, falling outs with close ones, bereavement, divorce and separation, relocating somewhere new, or simply struggling to stay in touch with people we were previously close with. 

Loneliness knows no boundaries and goes across international borders, so you will find lonely people wherever you go in the world. Nowadays, people search for anything and everything in search engines, from their darkest thoughts to trivial matters. Google search is visited a staggering 89.3 billion times per month.

Internet users in the digital age often search for answers to their solitary thoughts and worries on search engines. Therefore, we at CIA Landlords decided to carry out research into the loneliest countries in Europe based on the topics people feeling lonely search for in search engines. Our research specifically takes a look at the top 12 loneliest countries in Europe based on the number of online searches for ways to combat loneliness. 

So, carry on reading to learn more about the top 12 loneliest countries in Europe and the sorts of questions on loneliness that internet users in these countries are putting into search engines, and some of the reasons behind why they may be searching for such terms. 

Image of a man using a keyboard and a mouse to make online searches on a search engine.

The loneliest country in Europe is… the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom came out as the loneliest nation in Europe from our research. Whether this is due to the weather, the cost of living crisis, Brexit creating uncertainty, or people living in this country finding things particularly tough at the moment and seeking advice to help ease their loneliness, the UK was the country where people are searching the most for answers from search engines about how to combat loneliness. 

In fact, in the data for all four of the different searches relating to questions and queries on loneliness that we tallied up during our research, the UK came out as the loneliest nation in Europe every time. 

Ranking The top 12 loneliest countries in Europe
1 UK
2 Ireland
3 Germany
4 Netherlands
5 Romania
6 Poland
7 France
8 Sweden
9 Greece
10 Italy
11 Belgium
12 Norway


The second and third loneliest countries in Europe are Ireland and Germany

In our research, the second and third loneliest countries in Europe based on search engine searches on loneliness were Ireland and Germany. 

Ireland is undoubtedly a beautiful country with lots of stunning sites for tourists and residents to marvel over, and it also has a coastline with views to die for! However, many communities in Ireland are also fairly rural and remote. So, perhaps is not surprising that some people living in Ireland may go online to search for how they can fend off feelings of loneliness.

Germany is a thriving country with the largest modern economy in the European Union. Deutschland offers a great quality of life and tourists can sample the delights of its cosmopolitan cities such as Berlin and Munich. 

So, how did it come in third place and why are there so many people in Germany heading to search engines to look up ways they can overcome their feelings of loneliness? Well, winters in Germany can be cold and brutal, and the towns and cities are pretty far apart from one another since it is a sprawling country. Some communities are really quite isolated and poorly connected to the rest of Germany. Maybe these reasons could play a role in why our research showed Germany to be the third loneliest nation in Europe according to search engine searches on loneliness.

Image of a lonely man looking out at the sunset.

Belgium and Norway came out as the least lonely European nations

Our research found that Belgium and Norway were the nations where people felt the least lonely based on searches. This could be due to people in these countries relying on effective offline methods to combat loneliness, such as maintaining healthy relationships, staying in good contact with friends and family, and being fit and active to improve their mental wellbeing. 

Another reason these nations scored lower in our loneliness rankings could simply be the people there not depending so much on search engines online to act as sources of answers to their feelings of loneliness as other places in Europe do. 

Image of fjords in Norway.

In the UK, Ireland, and Germany, many people are searching ‘How to make friends’

The UK came in poll position, with a monthly search volume average of a staggering 5,400 searches for ‘How to make friends’ and closely related questions. Ireland came in second with an average monthly search volume of 720 for the same question, and Germany finished in joint second and also had 720 searches per month.

Norway and Belgium were the countries out of the top 12 loneliest nations in Europe where people are searching the least for ‘How to make friends’ on search engines, finishing in joint 12th place each with a search volume of 210 per month.

Ranking Countries Search volume per month for ‘How to make friends’
1 UK 5,400
2 Ireland 720
3 Germany 720
4 Netherlands 480
5 Romania 480
6 Poland 390
7 Greece 390
8 Sweden 320
9 France 290
10 Italy 260
11 Belgium 210
12 Norway 210


The UK had the most searches for the term ‘How to combat loneliness’

Feeling lonely is a negative emotion since we humans are sociable creatures, and the UK finished in the top position again for the number of searches around ‘How to combat loneliness’ with a search volume of 170. The others were considerably behind tied on a search volume of 30. Those tied in second place for ‘How to combat loneliness’ included Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain.

Ranking Countries Search volume per month for ‘How to combat loneliness’
1 UK 170
2 Belgium 30
3 France 30
4 Germany 30
5 Netherlands 30
6 Italy 20
7 Greece 10
8 Ireland 10
9 Norway 10
10 Poland 10
11 Romania 10
12 Sweden 10


UK, Germany, and Ireland had the most searches for ‘How to meet new people’

People can be feeling lonely at any one point in their lives for any reason whatsoever. One factor that holds many people back from socialising is social anxiety and worries about the difficulties of getting to know new people. Many of us also feel lonely due to harbouring intense feelings of isolation and social exclusion. As a result, we also wanted to see how many people were searching for ‘How to meet new people’ on search engines in different European nations.

Image of people meeting new people and introducing themselves.

Our findings discovered the UK, Germany and Ireland to have the most searches for ‘How to meet new people’. So, these three nations came out at the top of the rankings once again in our research into online searches on the theme of loneliness in different countries in Europe! The UK had 1,950 searches per month for this term, Germany 250, and Ireland 200. Poland had the fewest searches per month for the term in question out of the top 12 loneliest European countries, with just 10.

Ranking Countries Search volume per month for ‘How to meet new people’
1 UK 1,950
2 Germany 250
3 Ireland 200
4 France 120
5 Netherlands 120
6 Italy 80
7 Belgium 70
9 Greece 30
10 Norway 30
11 Sweden 30
12 Poland 10


The UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands had the most searches for ‘Why am I lonely?’

Being unsure about why we feel a certain way can be wholly confusing. It is therefore perfectly logical for us to also want to know more about why exactly we are feeling lonely. Our research found that many people in Europe ask search engines ‘Why am I feeling lonely?’ in a quest for answers and clear explanations for what’s behind their feelings of solitude.

The UK came in the top spot as the country in Europe with the highest searches per month for ‘Why am I lonely?’ and closely related terms. Ireland came second highest with a 300 search volume per month, and the Netherlands in third with 180. 

Ranking Countries Search volume per month for ‘Why am I lonely?’
1 UK 730
2 Ireland 300
3 Netherlands 180
4 Germany 170
5 Poland 150
6 Norway 140
7 Belgium 130
9 Sweden 120
10 France 90
11 Italy 80
12 Romania 30


Why loneliness has become such a big issue in Europe?

So, our research unveiled that there are hoards of pretty lonely people in Europe. But what could be some of the reasons why loneliness has become such a problem across Europe? 

Here is a list of some of the contributing factors which could explain why people are feeling more and more lonely across Europe at the moment:

  • Rising divorce rates mean more adults are quickly becoming single and having to adapt to living alone
  • Remote working and a lack of in-person contact with colleagues and clients
  • Unemployment and economic uncertainty due to the cost of living crisis
  • Young people deciding to leave their families behind to study and work abroad (feelings of homesickness amongst young people coupled with their families also missing their company causes more loneliness)
  • Modern technology and the internet causing people to become transfixed to screens and digital devices rather than socialising in person
  • An increase in the number of people choosing to live independently rather than in a traditional family household setting, regardless of if they know full well that this decision may mean they end up feeling a bit more lonely in the future

How could countries in Europe combat loneliness?

Our research has outlined the extent of the problem of loneliness spreading in Europe, but in reality there are actually many practical ways to combat loneliness, overcoming loneliness is not an insurmountable task. 

Combating loneliness effectively partially comes down to an individual’s willpower. However, there are also things governments could put in place in Europe to fight loneliness and help people feel better about themselves by forming valuable new friendships and interacting with others. It is always nice to have a shoulder to lean on in life. 

Here are a few ideas on engaging schemes European governments could run to combat loneliness:

  • Social clubs for the young, elderly and vulnerable, or anyone at all feeling lonely
  • Encourage community sports clubs, participating in sports (especially team sports) is a great way to socialise and meet new people
  • Promote performing art clubs, such as amateur theatre performance groups, choirs, musical groups, and so on
  • Government-backed ‘book club’ schemes where people meet once a week in a group to discuss a book they have read the week before
  • Create structured programs where the younger generation is able to form bonds with the elderly and meet regularly in person (this, of course, would require the proper vetting of applicants)

Loneliness down the line can lead to mental health and wellbeing issues. So, with this in mind, it is in the interest of European governments to look after their people adequately by doing all they can to help run initiatives that aim to combat loneliness. What’s more, it could lift pressure on health services and save governments a great deal of money. 

Image of team sports camaraderie.


We decided to look at data based on search terms directly linked to the theme of combatting loneliness. We got search data from 32 different European nations, and then took the top 12 to give us ‘the top 12 loneliest countries in Europe’. Note, we decided not to record data on Ukraine for sensitivity purposes.

We recorded data on the search volume results we found for each European nation when typing in four specific targeted queries into SemRush, a reliable keyword research tool. 

Search volume is a metric that shows you how many people are searching for a particular query on search engines. The first loneliness-related query we search on SemRush’s keyword magic tool (a well-known keyword research and online data ranking tool) was ‘How to make friends’. Why did we choose this question? Well, people feeling lonely may want to find some tips on how they can get out there and fight off their loneliness by forming new friendships, and in the modern digital times of today, they go onto search engines to find the answers. 

We focussed our research on data into the search volume in each country in Europe per month for people searching phrases related to feelings of loneliness. The four specific questions and advice-based searches we took metrics from were ‘How to make friends’, ‘How to combat loneliness’, ‘How to meet new people’, and ‘Why I am lonely?’. Please note, in this, we also counted search results for similar terms. For example, we included scores for ‘how to meet people in a new city’ for data on ‘how to meet new people’. We also counted variations of ‘Why am I lonely?, such as ‘Why am I so lonely’?, ‘Why am I feeling lonely’, and ‘Why am I feeling lonely and depressed’. 

To come up with the overall rankings, we added up the search volume scores for each nation across all four of the search term queries, and the higher the score, the lonelier the nation. 


The Best European Cities for Fashionistas

Amazing brands, vintage and new clothing, unique stitching patterns, iconic designs, fabrics, and textures, quirky stores, staying on trend, and having a look to die for when you leave the house are factors driving fashionistas’ passion for fashion. Fashion lovers believe fashion is something that helps to truly ignite their creative juices.

Therefore, fashion enthusiasts may want to consider grasping the opportunity to go and live in a fashion-mad city that’s well-catered for them and somewhere they can feel at home. Thankfully, there are many splendorous hip and trendy European cities these days that provide bustling ideal environments for fashionistas to live out their best lives.

Our team of landlord insurance experts at CIA Landlords has carried out research and collected data on different relevant areas to help determine the best European cities for fashionistas. Continue reading to discover more.

Paris is the best European city for those with a passion for fashion

Paris is the birthplace of world-renowned luxury fashion brands such as Christian Dior, Chanel, Lanvin, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton, which are all steeped in high-end fashion history and traditions. Christian Dior managed to generate revenue of a whopping 64.2 billion Euros in 2021, so it’s a Paris-based brand with a rich history that’s still booming and a hit with consumers in the modern day.

Overall, Paris came out on top in our research as the number one European city for anyone with a passion for fashion! Now, let’s discuss a bit more about how it ended up at the top of the table.

Paris came out in first place above the rest of the pack when we looked into which city had the most second-hand clothes shops. Are you a fan of wearing all things vintage and retro? If so, Paris is your go-to European city.

Likewise, if you are looking to improve your skillset and get a good opportunity to work in the fashion sector, you’ll be pleased to learn that our research uncovered Paris to be a great place to study fashion-related courses, with 46 different institutions offering fashion-related courses in the French capital.

Image of Champs-Élysées in Paris.

London and Milan came closely behind in second and third place in the overall rankings

London and Milan are also fashion capitals that any ardent fashionista should be interested in exploring.

The UK capital came in first place when we looked at data on the metric of the average monthly salary one can expect when working in the fashion industry in the city, with a nice average pay packet of £5,930 a month. In addition, we discovered that living in the UK capital city provides you with plenty of options if you are hoping to study fashion-related courses.

On top of all things fashion, London has lovely stunning scenery to explore while you gaze in awe at everyone’s stylish outfits. Why not go for a stroll around Hyde or Regent Park to stretch your legs and subtly take in people wearing the latest fashions? London is a city that oozes style, class and elegance, and it’s not one for fashion lovers to miss out on.

Milano – the fashion capital of the world?

Milan is often known as the fashion capital of the world. In fact, it’s held in such high regard as a city that’s a jewel in the crown of the fashion community that it has two fashion weeks per year instead of one like in other many other fashion-crazy cities. The research we carried out found that Milan is the third best European city for fashionistas, and being that it is home to prestigious brands like Versace and Armani, it’s not a surprise that it scored so highly.

What’s more, you’ll never be too far away from a shopping centre that you can conveniently pop into when in Milano, since in the data we collected we found that it is home to an impressive 58 of them.

Image of duomo di Milano in Milan.

Carry on reading to discover more in the breakdown of the results we found in our research into the top 20 European cities for fashionistas.

Overall rankings  Best European cities for fashionistas
1 Paris
2 London
3 Milan
4 Madrid
5 Rome
9 Brussels
10 Bucharest
11 Hamburg
12 Stockholm
13 Barcelona
14 Vienna
15 Sofia
16 Dublin
17  Munich
18  Budapest
19 Prague
20 Belgrade

Paris, Berlin, and Madrid are ideal for second-hand clothes shopping

Sustainable clothes shopping is an ingenious way of reducing your carbon footprint. Alongside taking the best choice for protecting the future of the planet, you’ll also be glad that you can get yourself some real corkers when shopping in second-hand clothes stores for your fashion needs and desires.

Everyone loves a fashion throwback. Do you love nothing more than trying on a classic retro garment that harks back to an iconic memorable time period? Well, in that case, you’ll want to find a city that has plenty of second-hand clothing shops. 

As well as getting your hands on excellent vintage clothes for bargain prices, you can also do some good for the world by purchasing second-hand items from charity shops. Providing charity shops with your custom will mean you’re giving them a helping hand during tough economic times!

Our research found Paris to have 118 second-hand clothes shops in total, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Berlin, a city well-known for its bohemian liberal urban scene, is home to 117 second-hand clothes shops, a real retro clothing hub. And Madrid isn’t only a great place to eat tapas and enjoy the Parque del Retiro, it’s a city where eager fashionistas will find 116 second-hand clothes shops. 

Image of the skyline of Berlin.

Sustainable fashion is here to stay

At a time when key brands in the fashion industry around the world are thinking about what they can do to operate more sustainably, it appears that second-hand fashion is going nowhere anytime soon. 

The data found Belgrade, Serbia on the Danube River to have the least amount of second-hand clothes shops.

                                                        Ranking City Number of second-hand clothes shops
1 Paris 118
2 Berlin 117
3 Madrid 116
4 Bucharest 111
5 London 110
6 Brussels 106
7 Rome 105
8 Barcelona 101
9 Warsaw 100
10 Dublin 100
11 Sofia 97
12 Stockholm 88
13 Prague 88
14 Milan 87
15 Budapest 87
16 Copenhagen 82
17 Hamburg 68
18 Munich 58
19 Vienna 46
20 Belgrade 21

Warsaw is the place to go for shopping centres

Shopping centres, or ‘malls’ as they prefer to call them across the pond, are places many people keen on fashion enjoy going for an entertaining leisurely trip out, with there being much more to the experience than simply buying your favourite clothes and leaving. 

Our research found the capital of Poland, Warsaw, to have the most shopping centres, 67 in total. The Polish city also boasts gorgeous architecture including palaces, castles, mansions, and churches from the gothic to the neoclassic era, something else for fashionistas to take in and be in awe of in Warsaw.

Bucharest and Paris also have a fair number of shopping centres to explore

Bucharest has a sufficient amount of shopping centres suitable for fashionistas’ needs, with 63. Average temperatures can climb up to 35C during the summer months, so you certainly need to remember your relaxing summer outfits when preparing yourself for Bucharest.

Paris has 60 shopping centres, including the Galerie Lafayette with its stunning 43 metres high art nouveau Coupole ceiling made from glass and steel. The most reputable international luxury fashion brands have stores in the majestic Galerie Lafayette shopping centre.

Ranking City The number of shopping centres
1 Warsaw 67
2 Bucharest 63
3 Paris 60
4 Copenhagen 59
5 Milan 58
6 Budapest 58
7 Sofia 54
8 Hamburg 53
9 London 52
10 Vienna 47
11 Stockholm 47
12 Berlin 44
13 Rome 42
14 Madrid 37
15 Munich 37
16 Prague 37
17 Brussels 32
18 Dublin 19
19 Barcelona 12
20 Belgrade 7

Madrid is a top city to study fashion-related courses

Perhaps if it’s truly your thing, you would like to take steps to study fashion in more depth. If so, why not take part in sewing workshop sessions, a jewellery course, learn how to apply make-up professionally, or study a fashion design or textile degree at a university in one of these fashion-transfixed European cities? 

Our research found Madrid to be the best European city in terms of the number of institutions that provide fashion-related courses, with a handy 54 providers offering them in the Spanish capital.

The metropolises of Paris and London have 46 and 41 institutions respectively offering fashion-related courses. Therefore, they are cities that also aren’t bad choices if you want to learn all about fashion design and how the modern industry functions today.

Image of the palacio real in Madrid.

Milan has prestigious world-famous fashion courses

If you’re an avid fashionista, why not try to study fashion in Milan, a city that’s a buzzing hotspot for the fashion design industry? The Istituto Marangoni provides courses on contemporary fashion that students from all over the world can apply to take part in. As a whole, Milan is home to 35 institutions providing fashion-related courses.

Ranking City The number of institutions offering fashion-related courses
1 Madrid 54
2 Paris 46
3 London 41
4 Milan 35
5 Rome 33
6 Barcelona 29
7 Warsaw 28
8 Dublin 23
9 Hamburg 20
10 Munich 20
11 Berlin 19
12 Vienna 17
13 Budapest 16
14 Sofia 15
15 Stockholm 15
16 Brussels 14
17 Bucharest 14
18 Copenhagen 13
19 Belgrade 4
20 Prague 2

The highest average monthly salary for working in the fashion industry is in London

If you’re a lifelong impassioned fashionista, then why not take it upon yourself to turn your passion into your profession and work in fashion on a day-to-day basis? You know how the saying goes, you won’t work a day in your life if you can do what you love for a living! 

We looked at the average monthly salary that individuals working in the fashion industry can expect to earn in European cities. It turns out that people in London working in the fashion industry earn on average £5,930 per month or £71,160 per year, considerably more than any elsewhere. But let’s not forget, London is an all-round pretty expensive city to live in nowadays.

Of course, ‘working in fashion’ can cover a broad scope of things. It may mean working full-time as a fashion designer, shop assistant, a ‘buyer’, someone manufacturing and making garments, or selling clothing from a brand you’ve created by yourself.

You can also earn a good living working in fashion in Brussels or Copenhagen

In Brussels, personnel in the fashion sector earn on average the equivalent of £4,721 per month, and in Copenhagen £4,266, both just behind London. So, if London doesn’t take your fancy, our research shows that you could also get decent wages working in fashion in either of those cosmopolitan European cities.

Rankings City  Average monthly salary of people working in the fashion industry (in GBP)
1 London 5,930
2 Brussels 4,721
3 Copenhagen 4,266
4 Paris 3,665
5 Milan 3,480
6 Vienna 3,310
7 Stockholm 3,249
8 Rome 3,141
9 Hamburg 3,115
10 Berlin 3,088
11 Munich 3,061
12 Dublin 2,751
13 Madrid 2,360
14 Barcelona 2,325
15 Prague 1,963
16 Sofia 1,751
17 Warsaw 1,592
18 Belgrade 1,158
19 Bucharest 1,113
20 Budapest 941


The goal of this research was to use various metrics pertinent to helping CIA Landlord Insurance determine the best European cities for fashion enthusiasts (‘fashionistas’). 

Firstly, in order to narrow down and focus our research, we selected the top 20 most populated European cities. 

We then focussed on finding data for each of the 20 most populated European cities across four different areas related to fashion

  • The number of second-hand clothes shops
  • The number of shopping centres 
  • The number of institutions offering fashion-related courses
  • Average monthly salary of people working in the fashion industry (in GBP).

We obtained data for the first three areas by searching the terms ‘second-hand clothes shop’, ‘shopping centre’, and ‘fashion course’ in ‘nearby’ in Google Maps for each of the 20 cities. This also meant we had to translate these terms into each language. For example, for ‘shopping centre’ in France, we searched the term ‘centre commercial’ in Google Maps and tallied up the number of shopping centres in the city.

To get the average monthly salary of people working in the fashion industry in each city, we used a salary finder tool and looked at average working wages in the ‘fashion and apparel’ section for each city. Since the salaries were only provided in the national currencies used in each of those cities, we had to use a currency converter tool to be able to present the information in British Pounds.

Find out which sources we used for our research below.


We used the following sources during our research process: