Europeans are concerned that the COVID-19 crisis will influence their quality of life for the long haul, according to a new survey “Digitising Europe Pulse: The impact of the second COVID-19 wave”, commissioned by the Vodafone Institute, and conducted by Kantar, with over 15,000 interviewees from 15 European countries.
Two out of three Europeans agree that the pandemic will affect their lives in the short term (65%), and almost as many see effects in the long run (61%). Those living in Portugal (78%), Greece (77%) and Spain (75%) consistently remain the most concerned about long-term quality of life impact brought about by the pandemic. Germans (44%) and Estonians (45%) are the least concerned in this regard.
The same tendency can be observed regarding the short-term impact; for example, 82% of the Greeks and 80% of the Portuguese state that the COVID-19 crisis will limit their quality of life in the short term – only 49% of the Germans and 50% of the Dutch share these concerns.
The personal economic situation of Europeans has also worsened, compared to results in May 2020. This includes loss of savings (18%, May: 14%) or danger of bankruptcy (6%, May: 4%). In every country, except Sweden, more people lost their savings compared to May. In Poland, Spain and Greece a plus of 9% state that they have already been affected by the loss of their savings.
8% of the surveyed Europeans claim that they can´t afford to buy food anymore; 16% expect this to happen in the future.
The degree of affectedness in the crisis depends on demographics, as families are much more affected than single households. Almost 10% of households with minimum two adults and children up to 16 years can´t pay their mortgage anymore. 18% expect this to happen in the future. In contrast, only 5% of the single households are not able to settle their mortgage and 9% are worried about it. In every other economic indicator, like “loss of savings”, families are noticeable more affected than single households.
Inger Paus, Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute, said:
“The ‘Digitising Europe Pulse’ shows how significant the economic and social impact is for a majority of Europeans after one year of the pandemic. Corona also has the potential to exacerbate structural inequalities in Europe in the future – between low and high earners, between families and singles, between northern and southern Europe. This is where the European Union must start with its recovery fund/reconstruction programme to guarantee equal living conditions for all citizens in the future as well.”
An online survey conducted by Kantar of over 15,000 citizens from across 15 European countries including: Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK. There was a sample size of at least 1,000 interviews per country (in total 15,008 interviews) and all participants were aged 16 years or older. This research was conducted between 07.12. – 18.12.2020.