Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.

Have you checked in with friends and family recently?  Even a quick text to say you're thinking of them?  I know I get lost in my own busy world. However, since the pandemic, I've always made it a habit to reach out to friends and family with an "XO" or friendly "wave emoji."  Smiling at strangers, too, is important, along with a friendly "hi" or compliment.

With our new way of living since the pandemic, where remote and hybrid work reign following intense months of isolation, we did lose some of those spontaneous interactions with strangers, and stopped traveling as much to visit friends and family.

Patrik Laszlo
Patrik Laszlo

We know that people can live in the busiest city and feel lonely, or live in a quiet, quaint town and feel fabulously happy, because loneliness is subjective. Even though I always looked at New England as having options to help combat loneliness both physically and mentally, that was clearly naïveté on my part. It turns out that both our smallest and largest states made this list of the loneliest states.

Wanda Jewell
Wanda Jewell

According to Aging in Place, Maine topped the list as the loneliest state in the country, followed by Florida and Ohio.  Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii are the least lonely states, so we can clearly see that weather and region have nothing to do with loneliness.

Aging in Place says that when it comes to Maine, the small population of approximately 1.3 million people does offer the benefit of tight-knit communities. However, around 32% of households are made up of single people, with around 15% divorced.

Vermont takes the #5 spot as the loneliest state, with Rhode Island tying for #7 with Oregon.

Connecticut is #31, New Hampshire #35, and Massachusetts #36.

Aging in Place used such criteria as percentage of single-person households, higher search frequency for dating and friendship apps, divorce rates, and percentage of widows.  Regarding those apps, the site says that loneliness refers to dissatisfaction with one’s life, including social connections and life expectations, so searching for a sense of security elsewhere is a sign that someone feels uneasy and alone.

For a more in-depth look at this study, click here.

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