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The people of Utah can rely on the Division of Population Health (DPH) to prevent and respond to public health concerns.

Percent of Utahns (youth grades 8, 10 and 12) who feel socially isolated

Current Value

23.4%

2023

Definition

SHARP Survey: Students who reported during the past seven days the felt isolated from others "Often" or "Always".

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Measure Definition

This measure reflects the percentage of Utah youth (grades 8, 10, and 12) who responded they felt socially isolated. Data is collected from the Utah Student Health and Risk Prevention (SHARP) survey which is adminstered every two years. The SHARP data are weighted to make the estimates representative of all Utah public and charter school students in grades 8, 10 and 12.  

The social isolation score is calculated based on responses to the following questions: In the past 7 days, I have felt: a. left out; b. that people barely know me; c. isolated from others; d. that people are around me, but not with me. Response options are always, often, sometimes, rarely, and never. Scores 14 or above are considered moderately to severly socially isolated. 

Story Behind the Curve

The lack of social connection poses a significant risk to your health and longevity. The mortality impact of socially disconnectedness is similar to that of smoking as many as 15 cigarettes a day. (Holt-Lunstad J, Robles TF, Sbarra DA. Advancing social connection as a public health priority in the United States. Am Psychol. 2017;72(6):517–530.)

Utah youth are at increased risk of feeling socially isolated, with feelings of social isolation peaking in the 10th grade.

From 2019 to 2021 there were significant increases in feelings of social isolation that remained high into 2023.

More information about specific populations disproporationately impacted by lonliness can be found at https://ibis.health.utah.gov/ibisph-view/pdf/opha/publication/hsu/2024/2402_SocIso-OOHBirth.pdf#HSU1.

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