How connected do women feel to others? And how well do they feel supported?
Data from Gallup and Meta’s recent study, The State of Social Connections, offer answers to these important questions and provide insight into whether women -- and men -- around the world have the supportive social connections they need to thrive.
The study, based on surveys in 2022 in seven diverse countries -- Brazil, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the U.S. -- showed majorities of women in all these countries felt connected, but these connections varied by country, as did the level of support that women reported needing.
Women in France, U.S. Feel More Connected Than Men Do
The study defined feeling “connected” to people as how close they feel to others emotionally. Women in Egypt and France were the most likely to feel “fairly” or “very” connected, with more than eight in 10 in each country saying they felt this way. Brazilian women, on the other hand, were the least likely to report feeling this connected; a bare majority (51%) said they felt this close to others.
In four of the seven countries, women and men felt similar levels of connection. But in France and the U.S., women were slightly more likely than men in their countries to feel connected to others (84% vs. 78% in France and 77% vs. 71% in the U.S.). The opposite was true in Mexico, where men (68%) were slightly more likely than women (62%) to feel this connected.
Women’s Support Needs Vary by Country
Across the seven countries, women in France were least likely out of all women surveyed to say they needed support or help from someone in the past 30 days, with 37% saying they “sometimes” or “often” needed support. Women in Egypt were the most likely to say they needed support this frequently, with a majority -- 70% -- saying they needed it sometimes or often.
In the U.S., France, Brazil and Mexico, women were more likely than men to say they need support or help from someone this often in the past 30 days. The largest gaps were in the U.S. (12 percentage points) and Brazil (10 points).
Women Most Likely to Get Support In Person or Over the Phone in Most Countries
In five out of the seven countries, women who reported needing support in the past 30 days were most likely -- and almost equally likely -- to receive the support they needed in person or on the phone. Only women in Egypt and Brazil were more likely to say they received this support in person.
However, sizable percentages of women reported getting this support through social media. Nearly half of the women in Brazil (49%), Indonesia (48%) and Egypt (45%) said they interacted with people via social media to receive the support they need. Notably, women in Indonesia and Mexico were as likely to receive support via social media as they were in person or on the phone.
Data from the State of Social Connections survey scratch the surface of what the world knows about social connections. The majority of women feel socially connected, but these feelings of connection are not monolithic, and these differences need much more exploration.
The benefits of social connection extend to all aspects of a woman's life, from her career to her personal relationships. When women feel socially connected and supported, they are not only better equipped to cope with challenges, pursue their goals, and enjoy a higher quality of life, but also to improve the lives of everyone they are connected with.
Read the full State of Social Connections report.
Read more stories about women around the world on our International Women's Day page.