Skip to content

What makes older people at risk of being lonely, and which neighbourhoods have the highest risk?

About the loneliness heat map

Map of England

The heat map shows the relative risk of loneliness across 32,844 neighbourhoods in England. The relative risk of loneliness is based on the Census 2011 figures for the factors:

  • marital status
  • self-reported health status
  • age
  • household size

These four factors predict around 20% of the loneliness observed amongst older people 65 and over as represented in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).

More about how the maps and underlying data were compiled is in our Q&A sheet.

How to use the loneliness heat map

The Age UK Loneliness heat map should be used alongside local knowledge and an understanding of local neighbourhoods. When this happens it can improve the allocation of limited resources to reduce loneliness across a geographic area and help understand whether existing services are reaching areas of need.

Case studies in Wirral and Rotherham provide examples of how the Age UK loneliness heat map has been used to target resources and raise the profile of loneliness among older people in a local community.

You can access the data tables behind our maps on the ONS archive page; scroll down to 25 June 2015 entry.

View the loneliness heat map

For Later Life Conference

The next For Later Life Conference will take place on Wednesday, 8 February 2017 at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster. This year's theme is 'creating a culture of wellbeing', and we'll be showcasing Age UK’s new Wellbeing Index.

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK on: 0800 169 8787