Loneliness, one simple word that has a scary effect on many of us. This term is used to describe those who feel isolated even when there is literally a sea of people around you. Calling it social pain would be more accurate since when we feel alone, we desperately try to better our mood by seeking out social connections at times.
The rise in individualism was unsurprisingly accompanied by loneliness. The high-rise buildings and the fast-paced urban lifestyle have left many people feeling lonely. To add to that, the pandemic has pushed people further apart and forced them to stay within their homes. You might wonder, which cities are the loneliest of all in America? Have a look at some of them!
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Top 6 Loneliest Cities in the U.S.
- Portland, Oregon
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Austin, Texas
- Seattle, Washington
- Washington, DC
1. Portland, Oregon
Popular among the millennials, Portland is one of the best cities to start and maintain a business. It has also managed to be ranked in the Forbes list of Best Places For Business and that might be the reason why so many people choose to move to Portland.
To add to that, you cannot possibly take Portland people away from their green pastures. The city is very particular about being environmentally friendly, so much so that companies have to pay a green tax and residents use the wide network of bike trails to commute.
Also Read: 7 Cities with Most Bicycle Commuters Per Capita
Why is Portland So Lonely?
Portland is lonely for several reasons, one of them being the high depression rate among its population. About 25.20% of the residents of Portland were diagnosed with depression in 2020. But why would anyone feel depressed in such a lovely city? Well, the thing is that Portland experiences very gloomy weather. The city is cloudy and has grey skies for more than half the year.
This kind of weather leaves people feeling pretty bummed out. It affects their moods and often leaves them feeling low. This is better known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. In addition to that, the city also has a high divorce rate. With such high depression and divorce rates, people are bound to feel lonely.
Upsides Of Living In Portland:
Portland is a very walkable city. It isn’t a very big city because of which you can choose to commute using alternative modes of transport which includes walking and biking through the charming neighborhoods.
Downsides Of Living In Portland:
Housing costs in Portland skyrocket through the roof. It is financially difficult to buy and maintain a house in Portland, especially if you are living on a tight budget with minimal savings.
- Median Home Price: $542,000
- Median Rent: $1,509
Also Read: Moving to Portland Oregon – Relocation Guide
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Las Vegas? The entertaining casinos, wild bachelorette parties, and crazy nightlife are all synonymous with Las Vegas. One thing anyone can tell you about Las Vegas is that it’s a very happening city. There is always something to do, events, concerts, shows, etc., continuously attract people to the city throughout the year.
Moving to Las Vegas might seem like an interesting choice, and it is advisable to do it only after reading all the pros and cons of living there. There are some pretty cool suburban areas where one can decide to reside. Do check out Centennial Hills and Summerlin as they are some of the best neighborhoods of Las Vegas.
Why is Las Vegas so Lonely?
We are pretty sure that you won’t be surprised if we tell you that Las Vegas is not one of the best places to raise a family. A 2018 study pointed out that a high percentage of the Las Vegas population was living in single-person households. The divorce rates here are through the roof and people with kids seldom decide to move here. Because so many people live alone, there is a high chance that they have lost out on the sense of community and tend to feel lonely.
To add to that, people in Las Vegas live in apartment styled buildings. Interaction between neighbors rarely takes place (because of the odd work hours) and the residents tend to keep to themselves. To add to that, Las Vegas is a touristy city. Throngs of people visit and leave the everyday. There is no stability in the social interactions and huge gaps start developing in the lives of the locals. Perhaps that’s why Las Vegas is so lonely.
Upsides of Living in Las Vegas:
Las Vegas is a fairly city to move to. In addition to that, moving across the city is painless as traffic is almost non-existent in the city.
Downsides of Living in Las Vegas:
Although being sunny is one of the good things about Las Vegas, the city is essentially a dry desert and the sun can get a little too much. Summers are painful and the city experiences no other seasons.
- Median Home Price: $363,000
- Median Rent: $1,180
3. Baltimore, Maryland
The Charming city is one of those places that is even older than the country. The rich historical past of the city has witnessed how the city has progressed through the years. Known for its top-notch educational institutions, Baltimore is one of the best college cities and most of the students end up coming to Baltimore.
Not only this, but Baltimore offers you an upbeat nightlife. You can find most of the locals hanging out at the Havana Club or Alexander’s Tavern on most of the Friday nights. The city has certainly seen a lot of ups and downs, but it still offers its residents a great lifestyle.
Why is Baltimore so Lonely?
Although it is a great city, Baltimore has had its own share of problems. First of all, Baltimore has a huge population of people who are living alone. 40% of the households in the city are single resident households. People often move to this town for either educational or job opportunities. They end up living alone which after a point makes them feel lonely.
To add to that, the city of Baltimore has high crime rates. In fact, the crime rate here is 200 times more than the national average. The high occurrence of crime here can definitely be attributed to the deeply-seated racial segregation in the city and socio-economic disparity between the whites and colored people. Places that experience delinquent activities often house people who are facing mental health issues and often feel isolated or lonely.
Upsides of Living in Baltimore:
If you are a sea-food lover, you will certainly enjoy staying in Baltimore. The award-winning Chesapeake Bay cuisine of Baltimore along with their local breweries have won the hearts of all who live in the city.
Downsides of Living in Baltimore:
Homelessness is a massive socio-economic issue that Baltimore faces. The government hasn’t been able to combat this problem completely as of yet.
- Median Home Price: $172,153
- Median Rent: $1,324
See Also: Moving to Baltimore – Relocation Guide
4. Austin, Texas
Austin is that kind of city where everyone wants to live and this is quite evident by its population growth data. The population of Austin doubles every decade and why wouldn’t it? The tech sector is booming and job opportunities are never exhausting. Tech Giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, Dell, etc., all have their headquarters here and that is exactly why many professionals seek to live here.
To add to that, more than 50,000 students get admitted into the University of Texas that is situated here. That’s another reason why Austin is so popular. But don’t be fooled by the urban lifestyle that the city offers because there is no dearth of nature here. The residents keep Austin green as they love to spend their free time outdoors.
Why is Austin So Lonely?
Urban loneliness is a very real thing that’s happening and the people of Austin bear witness to it. A 2018 study found out that about 60% of Austin residents are lonely. As the population of the city is rising day by day, it also seems like each and every person is losing him/herself in the crowd.
In order to not be just a face in the crowd, people lead hectic lives to prove themselves unique. In all this, they also end up not having the time to make intimate connections with their family members, friends, or other loved ones.
Upsides to Living in Austin:
The city is a cultural hub. People often flock to famous food joints and restaurants for mouth-watering, and delicious food. To add to that, Austin is known for its live music venues. You can enjoy live music at various beautiful places every night and this also proves to be a great opportunity to meet and socialize with people.
Downsides of Living in Austin:
Due to the increase in population, there is a lot of demand for housing in Austin. The prices of a house or even renting a place have drastically gone up.
- Median Home Price: $482,766
- Median Rent: 1,411
5. Seattle, Washington
Nestled in the heart of nature, the Emerald City is truly a gem of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle has about three national parks nearby which allow the locals to go hiking and enjoy outdoor activities to the fullest. To add to that, the temperatures in Seattle are always pleasant because of the rains. In fact, it is a well-known fact that it is the least air-conditioned city in the USA.
The spectacular skyline and the chance to wander aimlessly through the enchanting streets is what appeals a lot to the residents of Seattle. To add to that, it’s a foodie paradise! The high-quality ingredients and the fresh local produce are used to cook by award-winning chefs to make some really delectable food items for the locals.
Why is Seattle so Lonely?
Everyone in America knows that Seattle is known as one of the loneliest cities in the country. Even Tom Hanks from Sleepless in Seattle could not help but be a victim of the ‘Seattle Freeze’. This phenomenon is essentially believed to exist in Seattle where people find it very difficult to make friends and socialize in the city. Many people who move to Seattle also feel very isolated because the locals seem to be unfriendly, unwelcoming, and cold.
To add to that, about half of the adults living in Seattle have reported feeling depressed every now and then. This could be because the locals experience many chronic stressors in their lives, one of them being the ridiculously high cost of living. To add to that, a high percentage of people are living in single-resident households in Seattle, 38.3% to be accurate! All of these factors combined are bound to make people feel lonely in Seattle.
Upsides of Living in Seattle:
Although the competition is near too fierce, Seattle offers some amazing career opportunities to its residents. Tech Giants like Microsoft, Nintendo, and Amazon are all located here and that certainly says a lot about the job scene in Seattle.
Downsides of Living in Seattle:
There is an evident lack of diversity in the population of Seattle. The majority of the people in Seattle are white and other races are quite underrepresented here. Apart from that, the high cost of living certainly drives out many people from the city.
- Median Home Price: $830,666
- Median Rent: 1,866
Also Read: Moving To Seattle – Relocation Guide
6. Washington DC
Washington DC is one of the grandest cities you will ever see, after all, it is the capital of our great nation! The diversity in the ethnicity of its residents is crazy! People from different parts of the country and those belonging to a variety of religions and foreign nationalities have chosen to settle here.
To add to that, you get to choose the lifestyle of your preference. Be it apartment styled building, countryside living, or even suburban experiences, Washington DC offers it all. Days are sunny and the weather is quite mild and pleasant, which makes living here an enjoyable experience.
Why is Washington DC so Lonely?
One thing that makes the people feel so lonely here is the transient nature of the city. The population of the city changes constantly because the nature of the government changes constantly and living here is terribly expensive. Many people move in and most importantly, move out of the city regularly. Only the ones who come from high-earning households are able to live here permanently.
Because of all this, the locals often find it very difficult to form long-lasting social connections. People who move into the city, especially the ones who have grown up in tight-knit communities, often feel isolated and lonely in this city.
To add to that, more than half of its population is single. Depression rates are at all-time high and there are nearly 50% single resident households in Washington DC. After reading all these facts, the lonely nature of the city shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Upsides of living in Washington DC:
Although the cost of living is high, you will also end up earning a lot in Washington DC. Most of the jobs available in the city pay high salaries which allow people to make ends meet here. Your career will definitely grow along the right path after you move here.
Downsides of Living in Washington DC:
Life here is super stressful due to various reasons. Working hours are really long here and career growth happens at the cost of sacrificing your personal life. To add to that, the political climate here is highly unpredictable.
- Median Home Price: $678,709
- Median Rent: $2,175
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the loneliest state in the US?
Maine is the loneliest state in America. More than 30% of the population of the state is living alone. The divorce rates stand at 14% and the residents are also very active on dating websites to keep themselves engaged.
What is the loneliest age group?
According to a study conducted in 2020, loneliness was experienced the highest by young adults (people in their 20s) of America. On the contrary, people in their 60s were found to be feeling the least lonely in the country.
It is rather easy to assume that people living in big urban cities don’t feel lonely. Why would they? After all, they are surrounded by millions of people! You must have realized how wrong this assumption is after reading the article. People living in cities tend to feel lonely more often as they often lose their own identity in the crowd and constantly struggle to stand out in it, whereas the population living in rural areas is quite low.
People often know each other and are there for each other in times of need. Battling loneliness is hard, we completely agrAee with you. But all you can do is try to make it better for yourself. Do participate in group activities like gym classes and do attend cultural events like music concerts where you can try to meet new people and form deeper social connections!
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