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CSO figures reveal significant drop in number of people satisfied with life

The figures also show an increase in alcohol use and smoking, as well as a feeling of loneliness.

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Image: Shutterstock/Claire Fraser Photography

THE NUMBER OF people who report a high satisfaction with life has dropped significantly during the current Covid-19 pandemic, according to figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). 

Some 12.2% of the 1,362 people surveyed rated their overall life satisfaction as high compared to 44% of people during the same survey in 2018. 

Meanwhile, just over four in ten – or 42.4% – of respondents rated their satisfaction with personal relationships as high in April 2020, falling from approximately six in 10 in both 2013 and 2018.

Over a quarter – or 26.6% – of respondents reported feeling lonely at least some of the time, up from 16.9% in 2018, while over one in five – or 20.6% – of respondents aged 70 and over were very concerned about household stress from confinement.

The share of respondents aged 18-34 who felt they could not access non-material help such as somebody to talk to or 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%.

Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 21.22.35 Source: CSO

Other concerns highlighted in the survey from the CSO pointed to an increase in alcohol use and smoking

Over four in 10 – or 41.8% – respondents that were very concerned about household stress from confinement reported an increase in alcohol consumption and just over three in 10 – or 30.4% – respondents that felt lonely at least some of the time in the past four weeks reported an increase in alcohol consumption.

Just over three in 10 smokers – or 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, at 54.3% compared to 35.6%.

Meanwhile, in relation to compliance with government advice and guidelines relating to Covid-19, almost nine in 10 – or 88.4% – of female respondents rated their compliance with Covid-19 government advice and guidelines as high, compared with just over seven in 10 – or 72.5% – of male respondents. 

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