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How Strong Are the World's Social Connections?
Gallup Blog

How Strong Are the World's Social Connections?

by Lance Stevens

Worldwide, most people feel connected to others. A new Meta and Gallup survey reveals that more than seven in 10 adults surveyed across 142 countries in 2022 said they felt “very” or “fairly” connected to people. In fact, in almost every country (138 of 142), at least half of the population said they felt the same way.


Note: China was not one of the 142 countries surveyed, which is notable, given its size relative to the population of the world.

Connection is the essential fabric in the tapestry of the human experience. From ancient philosophers to modern-day psychologists and physiologists, the greatest minds agree that people’s interactions with one another are fundamental to who humans are and nurture greater physical and mental health.

Given the importance of social connections, Meta and Gallup are working together to better understand how connected people feel around the world.

The new Meta and Gallup study aims to better understand perceptions of social connection and included items on loneliness and social support. The most recent findings are detailed in the report, The Global State of Social Connections.

In the survey, “connectedness” was defined as “how close you feel to people emotionally.” Interviewers were allowed to clarify that “people” could include friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, people from groups you are a part of and strangers.

Even though in almost all countries surveyed, a majority of people feel “very” or “fairly” connected, levels of connectedness range widely. For example, twice as many people in Mongolia -- the highest-ranked country -- feel “very” or “fairly” connected to others as feel this way in the Dominican Republic, the lowest-ranked country (95% versus 47%).

And the bad news -- many feel no connection to others at all. Six percent of people worldwide report feeling not connected to anyone. Six percent may seem like a small figure, but it translates into roughly 287 million people: more than the entire population of Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most-populous nation.


Bottom Line

Even in the face of global threats like pandemics, war and climate change, human beings have shown resilience in forging connections with one another.

But not everyone feels equally connected, and hundreds of millions around the world lack any connection to other human beings. This is a call to focus more research and resources toward the health implications of social isolation -- a call many important organizations are both asking and answering, including the World Health Organization and the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General.

Data and analysis from Gallup and Meta’s 142-country study illuminate a path forward, to help people with their fundamental need to feel connected.

Learn more about the findings and read The State of Global Connections report.


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