Short Report: Social isolation, loneliness and COVID-19

Short Report: Social Isolation, loneliness and COV…
01 May 2020


This short report presents key insights about those at risk of social isolation and loneliness from a literature review and descriptive analysis of the 2018 New Zealand General Social Survey. Specifically, insights are drawn about the effects this risk has on wellbeing and the likely impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown. This report is for government and non-government decision makers, researchers and evaluators, and others with an interest in the topic. The aim of is to add to the growing evidence base on the impacts of COVID-19.

Key Results

The key insights are:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic will likely increase social isolation and loneliness, and increase inequalities in these outcomes.
  • Social isolation and loneliness are different things, but they are both associated with poor health and wellbeing.
  • Being isolated or feeling lonely in childhood can have an enduring influence on health and wellbeing.
  • Access to digital connections have become crucial for maintaining social connection and accessing wellbeing resources, but not everyone has access.
Page last modified: 12 Oct 2023