Nearly half of Britons socialise with family and friends only once a month or less, according to a survey.
The lack of human interaction is causing the nation’s sense of wellbeing to dwindle, the Sainsbury’s Living Well Index said.
Some 8,000 Britons were surveyed on everything from their sex lives, quality of sleep, finances, relationships and jobs, with an average “wellbeing score” of 60.4 out of 100.
The figure is 0.38 points lower than last year, which the report said was equivalent to a wellbeing decline associated with a £260 (or 18%) fall in the average monthly income.
Nearly one in 10 (9.1%) people said they never metfriends, relatives or coworkers socially, while 21.4% did so less than once a month.
A further 17.5% only socialised once a month, according to the survey.
Sainsbury’s carried out the report in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research and Oxford Economics.
Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s’ retail and operations director, said: “Sainsbury’s Living Well Index has found that over the last 12 months there has been a decline of the sense of community the nation feels as a whole, which has had a significant impact on our sense of wellbeing.”
Near-empty streets in Rochester: Sainsbury’s Living Well Index found there had been been a decline in the sense of community the nation feels as a whole Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian
Working baby boomers’ index scores fell “dramatically” – by 1.76 points on average – in the past 12 months, more than four times the average.
Authors of the study said the key driver was a decline in social connections (down 0.36 points) and relationships (0.29 points).
The overall score for June 2019 was almost a full point lower than in autumn 2017, when the first index was published.
People were asked about a total of 60 different aspects of their lives.