Published 15th June
The number of people reporting high levels of anxiety has sharply elevated during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This article will provide insights into which socio-demographic and economic factors were most associated with high levels of anxiety during the first weeks of lockdown.
Main points, from data covering 3 April to 10 May 2020:
- The factors most strongly associated with high anxiety during lockdown include loneliness, marital status, sex, disability, whether someone feels safe at home or not and work being affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- Feeling lonely was the factor most strongly associated with reporting high anxiety – people who “often or always” felt lonely were almost five times more likely to report high anxiety than those who “never” feel lonely.
- The percentage who reported high levels of anxiety significantly increased for people who are married or in a civil partnership during lockdown to 39%, up from 19% in the last quarter of 2019; prior to the pandemic, the percentage reporting high anxiety was lowest for people who are married or in a civil partnership compared with all other marital status groups.
- Those who are married or in a civil partnership are more likely to be balancing homeschooling alongside other commitments, with 1 in 4 people homeschooling during the pandemic, compared with approximately 1 in 10 people who are single, separated or divorced.
- Those aged 75 years and over were almost twice as likely as those aged 16 to 24 years to report high anxiety during lockdown; analysis of data prior to lockdown suggests anxiety tends to be lowest among those aged from their mid to late 60s, remaining relatively stable in later years.
- For people reporting high anxiety during the pandemic, over 1 in 5 said that their work had been affected because they were finding working from home difficult.
For more information go to the ONS (opens in a new tab)