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EU-wide study finds Irish women feel most lonely during Covid restrictions

An EU-wide study has found that young women in Ireland are the loneliest in the region, as people across the continent struggle with the coronavirus lockdowns.

The survey results show that people in the EU aged 18-34 were more likely to report feeling depressed, lonely, and anxious than those aged 35 and over, according to the group Eurofound, who conducted the study.

"When the specific results for Ireland are analysed a distinct pattern emerges: young Irish women were more likely to report feeling downhearted and depressed, and lonely, than both their male compatriots and the EU average," the research found.

The study found:

  • 16% of EU respondents aged 18-34 reported feeling downhearted or depressed either all of the time or most of the time
  • This figure was higher for young Irish women at 19%
  • This trend is even more significant for loneliness: 20% of all respondents aged 18-34 in the EU felt lonely either all of the time or most of the time
  • The number for Irish women is 27%
  • The figure for Irish men is 18.7%

“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on quality of life and well-being across Europe," outlined Mary McCaughey, Eurofound Head of Unit for Information and Communication.

"It should be noted that Ireland has comparatively high quality of life and well-being indicators for the population as a whole. However, the situation with regard to young women needs specific consideration.

"Unfortunately, these findings reinforce existing data with regards to the health and well-being of younger women in Ireland.”

The first wave of Eurofound’s survey was carried out in April, with 85,000 participants – 16,599 of whom were aged 18-34. There were 1,200 full responses from people aged 18-34 in Ireland.