Coronavirus: Number of people satisfied with life plummets

CSO survey shows increased strain in personal relationships during lockdown

The number of people who reported a high satisfaction with life has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published on Friday.

Last month just 12 per cent of people rated their overall satisfaction with life as high, a huge drop compared to 43 per cent of people in 2018.

Younger people aged between 18-34 were the least likely to report being satisfied during the national lockdown, according to the CSO figures.

The number of people who said they were highly satisfied with their personal relationships fell from 60 per cent in 2018 to 42 per cent last month.


Married couples were the most likely to still rate satisfaction in their personal relationships as high.

More than a quarter of people reported feeling lonely over the past four weeks, in interviews for the national survey last month.

Nearly one third of respondents reported feeling downhearted or depressed during the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to 13 per cent of people who felt the same in 2018.

The number of people who said they felt happy all or most of the time fell from 80 per cent in 2018, to 62 per cent in April 2020.

Almost two thirds of those surveyed said they were very or extremely concerned about someone else’s health during the coronavirus crisis, and a quarter were concerned for their own health.

Some 76 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about stress levels in their household due to the coronavirus restrictions on non-essential movement. Six per cent were concerned about violence in the home.

Over a fifth of people said their alcohol consumption had increased during the coronavirus crisis, while 17 per cent said the amount they drank had dropped.

Men accounted for a much higher portion of those who said their alcohol consumption had dropped in recent weeks.

People who reported lower levels of wellbeing had a higher rate of alcohol consumption, according to the figures. Over 30 per cent of people said they were smoking more than usual.

Nearly four out of 10 people said they were exercising more, while a third reported less exercise during the pandemic.

Over half of women and a third of men said they were more likely to eat junk food last month, the figures show.

Some 44 per cent of people said the amount of time they spent watching television had increased. Nearly three quarters of people aged between 18 and 34 said the time they spent on the internet had gone up during the pandemic.

The CSO survey was based on a sample of over 4,000 people and conducted via online questionnaire and telephone interviews over the last week of April.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times