Personal and economic well-being in Great Britain: May 2021

Date
May 25, 2021
Issues
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  • Those groups that were financially impacted at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were still worse off up to mid-April 2021; such as the self-employed, who were three times as likely to report reduced income and twice as likely to use savings to cover living costs compared with employees.
  • Those in the lowest income bracket (up to £10,000 per annum) continued to be more likely to report negative impacts to personal well-being in comparison with higher brackets; such as the coronavirus pandemic making their mental health worse (18%) and feeling stressed or anxious (32%).
  • Those in the highest income brackets (£40,000 a year or more) continued to be more likely to report that the coronavirus pandemic was negatively impacting their working life, and were six times as likely to report the pandemic was having a strain on their working relationships; those employed were over twice as likely to find working from home difficult than those in the lowest income bracket.
  • Employed parents were less likely to be furloughed since the beginning of 2021, unlike in the first phase of lockdown, but were still more likely to report reduced income than non-parents; despite the financial impacts, all parents continued to feel less lonely and report higher scores of feeling that things done in life are worthwhile.
  • Those aged under 30 years were consistently more likely to report that their income had been reduced (15%) than those over 60 years (5%); however, a higher proportion of those under 30 years reported being able to save for the year ahead (50%) than older age groups (39%).
  • Perceptions of incomes and savings also appeared to differ; for example, those in the youngest age group were less financially resilient than older age groups, with 47% of those under 30 years reporting that they could afford an unexpected expense compared with 71% of those over 60 years, despite a higher proportion reporting that they were able to save for the year ahead.

"The initial pandemic shock saw millions of individuals suffer both financially and with their well-being. This continues to be felt more than a year on, with similar amounts of people needing to borrow or use savings to make ends meet as seen last year. Worryingly, the self-employed, parents, young people and those living on the lowest household incomes remain more negatively affected by the pandemic in April 2021."

Gueorguie Vassilev, Head of Economic Well-being.

Total population estimates on personal and economic well-being across time Dataset | 25 May 2021 Total population estimates on personal and economic well-being across time according to the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

Economic well-being estimates from the Survey of Living Conditions, Great Britain Dataset | 25 May 2021 Estimates of how the coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted income and affordability in Great Britain. Data are from the Survey of Living Conditions (SLC).

Income group split estimates on personal and economic well-being across time Dataset | 25 May 2021 Income group split estimates on personal and economic well-being across time according to the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

Parental split estimates on personal and economic well-being across time Dataset | 25 May 2021 Parental split estimates on personal and economic well-being across time according to the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

Age group split estimates on personal and economic well-being across time Dataset | 25 May 2021 Age group split estimates on personal and economic well-being across time according to the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

For details on the data sources, sampling and weighting, please see the Measuring the data section in our previous release.

Personal well-being in the UK, quarterly: April 2011 to September 2020 Bulletin | Released 4 April 2021 Quarterly estimates of life satisfaction, feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety at the UK level, created using the Annual Population Survey (APS).

Household income inequality, UK: financial year ending 2020 Bulletin | Released 21 January 2021 Initial insight into main estimates of household incomes and inequality in the UK, along with analysis of how these measures have changed over time accounting for inflation and household composition.

Average household income, UK: financial year ending 2020 Bulletin | Released 21 January 2021 Final estimates of average household income in the UK, with analysis of how these measures have changed over time, accounting for inflation and household composition.

Coronavirus and anxiety, Great Britain: 3 April 2020 to 10 May 2020 Article | Released 15 June 2020 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.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 21 May 2021 Bulletin | Released 15 January 2021 Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 12 to 16 May 2021 to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.