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The Friendship Recession

This website will list all the recent articles I can find which mentioned the so-called “friendship recession.”

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The friendship recession: Big Think by Richard Reeves (April 2023)

Americans without friends have increased 250% in recent years. Here’s why. Richard Reeves, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, discusses the importance of friendships and the potential “friendship recession.” He notes that loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, but measuring and quantifying friendships is difficult. According to Reeves, an ideal number of close friends is around three or four…

Scientists Warn of A “Friendship Recession” — I’m Part of It: Medium by Addie Page (Feb 2023)

I’m thirsty for friends. It’s embarrassing. I’m far too old to be courting acquaintances like some middle school girl at Claire’s, harassing strangers for their opinion on $5 earrings. But here we are.

Why Is It So Hard for Men to Make Close Friends? New York Times by Catherine Pearson (Nov 2022)

American men appear to be stuck in a “friendship recession” — a trend that predates the Covid-19 pandemic but that seems to have accelerated over the past several years as loneliness levels have crept up worldwide. In a 2021 survey of more than 2,000 adults in the United States, less than half of the men said they were truly satisfied with how many friends they had, while 15 percent said they had no close friends at all — a fivefold increase since 1990. That same survey found that men were less likely than women to rely on their friends for emotional support or to share their personal feelings with them.

Are you experiencing a ‘friendship recession?’: Women’s Health by Claudia Canavan (Dec 2022)

The ‘friendship recession’ phrasing – showing that 15% of American men and 10% of women reported having ‘no friends.’ This spike looks sinister when contrasted with 1990’s data, in which 3% of men and 2% of women expressed the same sentiment.

‘Some weeks I only speak to the postman’: how to escape learned loneliness – and soar socially: The Guardian by Anita Chaudhuri (Feb 2023)

Meanwhile, in the US, the term “friendship recession” entered the lexicon after census data revealed that Americans were spending an ever-decreasing amount of time with friends. The blame cannot solely be put on the pandemic because the decline has been steady since 2014. A decade ago, people spent six and a half hours a week with close friends, but by 2021 that figure had plummeted to just 2hr 45min.

Are We in a ‘Friendship Recession’?: StyleBlueprint by Alissa Harb (March 2023)

There has been plenty of talk of an economic recession, but the under-the-radar recession no one is talking about has to do with our relationships. In our post-COVID society, we might think isolation is in the rearview. And with practically unlimited access to people and information at our fingertips, we might also think that connection is easier than ever — but surveys show that there are a lot of lonely people out there.

Is America suffering a ‘social recession’?: The Guardian by Anton Cebalo (Jan 2023)

Ever since a notorious chart showing that fewer people are having sex than ever before first made the rounds, there’s been increased interest in the state of America’s social health. Polling has demonstrated a marked decline in all spheres of social life, including close friendships, intimate relationships, trust, labor participation and community involvement. The continuing shift has been called the “friendship recession” or the “social recession” – and, although it will take years before this is clearly established, it was almost certainly worsened by the pandemic.

Why Friendships Among Men Are So Important: Greater Good Science Center by Jill Suttie (March 2023)

Having an intimate group of friends like that seems to be a rare thing for men these days. In fact, according to a recent American Survey report, men have fewer social ties overall than they used to, with only 27% of men in 2021 saying they had at least six close friends compared to 55% in 1990. This suggests men may be suffering a “friendship recession” that is likely affecting their health and happiness.

Men suffer ‘friendship recession’ as 15% are without a single close pal: New York Post by Adriana Diaz (July 2021)

These staggering statistics of the friendship recession found in the American Perspectives Survey are being attributed to a multitude of cultural-trend changes in the past two decades, including a decline in religious involvement, lower marriage rates and changes in the workplace, that are creating a surge of disconnection.

American men experiencing ‘friendship recession’: report, Fox News by Ann W. Schmidt (July 2021)

Single men are especially affected by the “friendship recession.” According to the survey, 20% of men who are not in a romantic relationship reported not having any close friends.

American men suffer ‘friendship recession’ with 15% not having ONE close friend – and the number with at least six plummeting from 55% to just 27%: Daily Mail by Rory Tingle (July 2021)

American men are experiencing a friendship recession, with nearly one in six not having one close friend, a new poll has found.