The Our World in Data team had a fascinating chart visualising who we spend time with, by age.

Summary of the research reads as follows:


Who we spend time with evolves across our lifetimes. In adolescence we spend the most time with our parents, siblings, and friends; as we enter adulthood we spend more time with our co-workers, partners, and children; and in our later years we spend an increasing amount of time alone. But this doesn’t necessarily mean we are lonely; rather, it helps reveal the complex nature of social connections and their impact on our well-being.


While the data is from Americans, I suspect some of these patterns hold in various places around the world.

This chart struck me as the single best argument made for the importance of self-compassion.

Be kind to yourself, you are going to spend many hours with yourself as you grow older.

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