08 May 2020
Go to release: Social Impact of COVID-19 Survey April 2020
|Due to a processing error, the 2013, 2018 and April 2020 values for the Low, Medium and High satisfaction indicators were incorrectly reported. This has resulted in minor revisions to published results. For example, the originally published percentage of respondents reporting Low life satisfaction in 2013 was 15.3%, the revised value is 15.8%. This has been corrected as of 11.00am on 13/10/21.|
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (8 May 2020) published the results of its Social Impact of COVID-19 Survey. This survey includes such topics as personal well-being, personal concerns related to COVID-19, changes in consumption behaviour and working life since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.
Also, published today are statistics from the CSO’s Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) Module on Well-being, 2018, which includes comparisons with the SILC Module on Well-being, 2013. Comparing the results from each survey enables an analysis of how these well-being measures have evolved over the period 2013 to April 2020 (see Editor's Note).
Commenting on the results, Statistician, Claire Burke said: “The combined findings of both surveys serve to highlight how the people in Ireland have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in terms of well-being. Overall life satisfaction is now lower than in 2018 but it is also substantially lower than in 2013, when Ireland was still suffering the effects of the 2008 financial crisis.
For example, in relation to the topic of Well-being, we know that in April 2020, only 12.1% of respondents rated their overall life satisfaction as High, a reduction of almost three-quarters on the 2018 rate of 44.2%. The corresponding rate in 2013 was 31.1%.
In both 2013 approximately 60% of respondents rated their satisfaction with personal relationships as High. This fell to 41.9% in April 2020.
The percentage of respondents that reported feeling ‘downhearted or depressed’, ‘nervous’ or ‘lonely’ increased substantially in April 2020. For example, almost one in three (32.4%) of respondents felt ‘downhearted or depressed’ at least some of the time in the four weeks prior to interview, compared to under one in seven (13.4%) in 2018.
In April 2020, 26.6% of respondents reported feeling lonely at least some of the time in the four weeks prior to interview, up from 16.9% in 2018.
The share of respondents aged 18-34 who felt they could not access non-material help (e.g. somebody to talk to, help with doing something) in April 2020 was over four times higher than the corresponding figure in 2018, increasing from 3.4% to 16.0%.
As regards to the topic of Personal Concerns related to the impact of COVID-19, almost two thirds (63.4%) of respondents were Very or Extremely concerned about somebody else’s health, while just over one quarter (25.8%) were Very or Extremely concerned about their own health.
Most respondents (76.9%) were Somewhat or Very concerned about household stress from confinement, and 6.0% were Somewhat or Very concerned about violence in the home.
Analysis of Changes in Consumption Behaviour since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions, shows that the percentage of male and female respondents reporting an increase in their consumption of alcohol were similar, 20.9% and 23.4% respectively. However, a much higher proportion of male respondents (26.0%) reported a decrease in alcohol consumption compared with females (8.6%).
Over four in ten (41.8%) respondents that were very concerned about household stress from confinement reported an increase in alcohol consumption and just over three in ten (30.4%) respondents that felt lonely at least some of the time in the past 4 weeks reported an increase in alcohol consumption.
Just over three in ten smokers (30.5%) reported an increase in tobacco consumption since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions.
Female respondents were considerably more likely to increase consumption of junk food than men (54.3% compared with 35.6%).
More than half (53.4%) of respondents aged 70 or over reported that their frequency of exercising had Decreased since COVID-19 restrictions
In relation to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Working Life, almost half (49.1%) of those who were employed in Quarter 1 2020 and who were not employed in April 2020 rated their overall life satisfaction as Low, compared to 26.8% of those employed and engaged in work duties.
Not surprisingly, those who were employed in Quarter 1 2020 and who were not employed in April 2020 were the most severely financially impacted by COVID-19. Of this group, 38.7% reported a Major or Moderate negative impact on the household's ability to meet their financial obligations.
Finally, in relation to Compliance with Government Advice and Guidelines relating to COVID-19, almost nine in ten (88.4%) of female respondents rated their compliance with COVID-19 related government advice and guidelines as High compared with just over seven in ten (72.5%) of male respondents.
Compliance increased with respondents’ perception of how severe the illness would be, were they to contract COVID-19 and also rose in line with the level of the respondents’ concerns for their own and somebody else’s health.”
The Social Impact of COVID-19 Survey published today utilised an online electronic questionnaire and telephone interviewing to produce a final achieved sample size of 1,362 individuals. There are some methodological differences between the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey and SILC and these are outlined in the Background Notes of the Social Impact of COVID-19 survey.
Claire Burke (+353) 21 453 5046 or Gerry Reilly (+353) 21 453 5700
or email ICW@CSO.ie
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