DSC-13 Risk factors for loneliness

Determining the risk factors for loneliness across the UK with good geography. Loneliness is a perception that is hard to measure directly. Our approach is using health data as an outcome measure of loneliness and treating loneliness as a hidden variable.

Team members

  • Jasmine Grimsley

The need

Generate a measure of loneliness risk for the UK with good geography and if possible information for different sub-populations.


The data will be used by the Loneliness team at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to inform on loneliness risks across the UK.

Data science

Linking of large messy data-sets to determine rick factors for loneliness with fine geography .


  • ONS Big data and loneliness teams
  • Bath University (SAMBa)


  • July 2018 Labour market statistics, cause of death data received and analysed
  • July 2018 Develop list of approved loneliness-related drugs
  • August 2018 Finish pipeline for postcode to graphics heatplot to allow mapping of address level data to Lower layer Super Output Area (LSOA) (such as number of pubs or libraries)
  • August 2018 Health description data acquired, cleaned and analysed for Wales, Ireland, England
  • August 2018 Finish pipeline for postcode to graphics heatplot
  • August 2018 Hackathon Big Data, Wellbeing and Loneliness teams (bring three work streams together)
  • September 2018 Go or No go decision: Stage 1 alpha model for linking social cohesion with loneliness disease
  • October 2018 Handover
  • December 2018 Add other variables if required

Further information

Please contact datasciencecampus@ons.gov.uk for more information.



Jasmine Grimsley published a blog on this project in March 2019.


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