Lonely night: Interactive map reveals how many Americans will spend Christmas alone in YOUR state

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • Millions of Americans will be alone this year, with the highest amount in Oregon 
  • One man, 72, said: ‘I don’t see my family… haven’t heard from them in 10 years.’
  • READ MORE: America’s top doctor declares LONELINESS an epidemic

Millions of Americans will be celebrating on their own this Christmas amid a nationwide loneliness epidemic, a survey has revealed.

A new poll showed that around 19 million Americans are due to spend Christmas alone this year, which is one in 14 adults.

Oregon has the highest rate of people celebrating alone on Christmas day at 45 percent, according to the poll, while Tennessee has the lowest at 12 percent. 

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Oregon has the highest rate of people celebrating alone on Christmas day at 45 percent, according to the poll, while Tennessee has the lowest at 12 percent

Oregon has the highest rate of people celebrating alone, with 45 percent, while Tennessee has the lowest at 12 percent

Oregon has the highest rate of people celebrating alone, with 45 percent, while Tennessee has the lowest at 12 percent

‘Alone’ was defined as living in a single-person household and not planning to see anyone on December 25. 

Oregon has a higher percentage of people aged 65 and older in Oregon at almost one in five, compared to 17 percent in Tennessee, data from the Population Reference Bureau revealed, which could explain why the state will be more solitary on Christmas.

Southern states, including Tennessee and Mississippi, may also have a stronger culture of family and community gatherings during the holidays, reflecting traditional Southern values.


States that were the most lonely are generally in the West of the US. Nevada, Colorado and Arkansas also had high rates of loneliness. 

Meanwhile, the least lonely states are mainly in the southeast of the country. After Tennessee was Nebraska, Mississippi, Maryland, Iowa, New Jersey and Washington.

It may also be that the cost of living in Tennessee is lower than in other states, which could support bigger households and more family-centric living arrangements.

According to Forbes Advisor, the cost of living in Tennessee in 2023 was $34,742, compared to $46,193 in Oregon.

Online-Solitaire.com – an online gaming company – commissioned a survey of 4,000 adults living in one-person households if they were planning to spend Christmas alone via an online survey.

The participant pool was a geographically representative panel that covered each state in the US and were not necessarily users of the gaming platform.

They excluded respondents from multi-person households as well as under-18s because it was assumed they were far less likely to spend Christmas alone.

They also asked participants how they plan on coping with loneliness on Christmas.

More than one in four respondents said they would turn to online gaming to pass the time, and six percent said they would participate in online communities.

Most lonely states 

  1. Oregon
  2. Delaware
  3. Nevada
  4. Colorado
  5. Arkansas 
  6. Idaho
  7. Michigan


Least lonely states 

  1. Tennessee
  2. Nebraska 
  3. Mississippi
  4. Maryland
  5. Iowa 
  6. New Jersey 
  7. Washington



One in five admitted they would binge-watch movies, while 15 percent said they would engage in a hobby.

Another 15 percent said they would spend their day cooking, and just over one in ten said they would be volunteering.

The remaining eight percent said they would spend time reading.

Earlier this year, the US surgeon general declared loneliness an epidemic and warned it is as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is also worse than being obese or not exercising. 

Lonely people are up to 30 percent more likely to suffer heart disease, previous research has suggested. They are also at a greater risk for dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety and early death. 

Dr Vivek Murthy said social isolation should be treated with the same urgency as ‘tobacco use, obesity and the addiction crisis.’

Levels of loneliness have been rising for years but got worse fast amid pandemic lockdowns.

One study found that one in five people were lonely during the pandemic, compared with six percent prior to Covid.

Americans spent about 20 minutes a day in person with friends in 2020, down from 60 minutes daily nearly two decades earlier, according to the surgeon general’s advisory.

Research cited in the surgeon general’s remarks found that time spent with friends dropped 20 hours a month between 2003 and 2020.

Meanwhile, time spent alone shot up by a whole 24 hours, likely exacerbated by Covid lockdowns. 

Socially connected people live longer, as loneliness can cause chronic stress, which leads to inflammation that damages tissues and blood vessels. 

Isolation also elevates a person’s likelihood of experiencing depression, anxiety, and dementia.

Some 42 percent of the survey respondents said Christmas Day was the most challenging day to spend alone due to its cultural significance. 

This was followed by personal birthdays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Of the people surveyed who will be with family on Christmas, 88 percent said they would invite a neighbor known to be alone to join them for the celebrations.

Another survey conducted by MedicareFAQ found that one in four seniors will not get to see their families over the holidays.

In November this year, MedicareFAQ surveyed 640 senior citizens about their experience with loneliness, particularly during the holiday season.

Respondents were mainly female, had an age range of 65-99 and were an average of 70 years old. 

One survey respondent, a 72-year-old man from California, said: ‘I don’t see my family and haven’t heard from them in over 10 years.’

Research shows that Americans, who have become less engaged with worship houses, community organizations and even their own family members in recent decades, have steadily reported an increase in feelings of loneliness. 

The number of single households has also doubled over the last 60 years. 


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