- Six out of ten residents say they have a very or somewhat strong sense of community. Only four out of ten know many or most of their neighbours.
- Has negative effects on the body, mind and soul.
- People who are lonely are more likely to be in the top five percent of health care users.
- Change in family and social structures - families are smaller and more spread out, and the increase in divorce rates and single parenthood is causing smaller and weaker networks.
- Work and time pressures - there has been a shift in the workforce, more two income families, more contract work, multiple part-time jobs and less stability. These demands can lead to a decrease involvement in all forms of social and community life.
- Cost more to be socially connected - the costs of social activities have become expensive and less accessible. It is cheaper to stay home.
- People spend more time in their cars - urban sprawl and community design have led to an increase in drive time leaving less time for social activities
- Technology (TVs, Smartphones, Computers) - Before technology became popular people used to go out and socialize at the movies or gather at each other houses to play games. Now technology has made it so that we don’t have to leave our homes to watch movies and we can now do so online.
- Being connected to other people and part of the community are essential to our overall wellbeing
- Complex systemic issues fragment community and threaten our sense of belonging
- Strong resilient communities are an effective way to tackle social isolation
A key takeaway from the report is that increasing connectedness and sense of belonging is a complex community issue. It requires organizations, groups, governments and citizens to work together. No one sector working alone can effectively address complex community issues.
Vibrant Communities – Cities Deepening Community has been working with cities and organizations across Canada for the past couple of years to address loneliness. We have built momentum within communities to bring residents together to create a necessary foundation for positive community change and to deepen community resilience. To learn more about how Vibrant Communities – Cities Deepening Community can support you in addressing the recommendations in the report visit our website.