Image of a lonely man sitting on a bench in front of a beach.

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. 


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