Throughout the period 16 to 27 March 2022, based on adults in Great Britain:
around 6 in 10 (57%) working adults exclusively travelled to work; although slightly lower than the previous period (60%) this remained higher compared with the trend over the past two years
around 7 in 10 (68%) adults reported they wore a face covering when outside their home in the past seven days; this is the lowest proportion since the removal of "Plan B" measures in England (95% between 19 and 30 January 2022)
around 1 in 3 (29%) adults reported always or often maintaining social distancing; a similar percentage to the previous period (28%), which was the lowest since this measure was first recorded in September 2020 (76% over the period 16 to 20 September 2020)
4 in 10 (40%) adults reported they had taken a rapid lateral flow test in the past seven days; this follows a decline from a high of 61% over the period 6 to 16 January 2022
over one-third (35%) of adults reported they were very or somewhat worried about the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their lives right now; this follows a decline from 66% during the "Plan B" measures (15 December 2021 to 3 January 2022)
In this period, we continued to find increased concerns about the cost of living. For example:
nearly 9 in 10 (87%) reported that their cost of living had increased; this is an increase compared with 83% in the previous period and 62% when this measure was first recorded (over the period 3 to 14 November 2021)
among these adults, the most common reasons reported were an increase in the price of food (88%), an increase in gas or electricity bills (83%) and an increase in the price of fuel (77%)
among those who pay energy bills, 4 in 10 (43%) said they found it very or somewhat difficult to pay their bills
among those who said they have gas or electricity supplied to their home, 6% reported they were behind on their gas or electricity bills
Over one-third (35%) of adults reported they were very or somewhat worried about the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their lives right now. This follows a decline from 66% during the "Plan B" measures (15 December 2021 to 3 January 2022).
Levels of personal well-being were:
life satisfaction (7.1 in this period and 7.0 in the previous period)
feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile (7.3 in this period and 7.3 in the previous period)
happiness (7.1 in this period and 6.9 in the previous period)
anxiety (4.0 in this period and 4.1 in the previous period)
These estimates of personal well-being may differ from the headline personal well-being statistics based on the Annual Population Survey. Our methodology article on data collection changes due to the pandemic and their impact on estimating personal well-being details the differences between these two data sources.
Figure 3: Levels of personal well-being remained relatively stable
Adults in Great Britain, March 2020 to March 2022
Questions: "Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?", "Overall, to what extent do you feel that the things you do in your life are worthwhile?", "Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?" and "Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?".
These questions are answered on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is "not at all" and 10 is "completely".
Base: all adults.
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When asked how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was affecting their life in the past seven days, 19% of adults reported their household finances were being affected (17% in the previous period).
We asked adults about changes in their cost of living over the last month, with 87% reporting their cost of living had increased. This is part of an increasing trend, compared with 83% in the previous period and 62% when we first asked this question (3 to 14 November 2021).
Over the same period, the percentage of adults who think they would be able to save any money in the next 12 months has decreased; 37% in the latest period compared with 46% over the period 3 to 14 November 2021. The percentage who reported their household could afford to pay an unexpected, but necessary, expense of £850 was 58% in the latest period compared with 61% over the period 3 to 14 November 2021.
The most common reasons reported by adults who said their cost of living had increased were:
an increase in the price of food shopping (88% compared with 90% in the previous period)
an increase in gas or electricity bills (83% compared with 83% in the previous period)
an increase in the price of fuel (77% compared with 79% in the previous period)
The most common actions reported by adults who said their cost of living had increased were:
spending less on non-essentials (54%)
using less fuel such as gas or electricity at home (45%)
cutting back on non-essential journeys in my vehicle (39%)
shopping around more (37%)
Among those who pay energy bills, 4 in 10 (43%) said they found it very or somewhat difficult to afford their energy bills. In comparison, nearly half (47%) reported it was very or somewhat easy to afford their energy bills.
Among those who said they have gas or electricity supplied to their home, 6% reported they were behind on their gas or electricity bills.
These data were collected between 16 and 27 March 2022, prior to the increase in the domestic energy tariff cap on 1 April 2022.
There are strong seasonal spending patterns relating to gas and electricity that may affect the results presented in this section. For more information on this and recent price rises for gas and electricity, please see our latest Consumer price inflation statistics for February 2022.
Further demographic breakdowns of estimates in this bulletin are available within the accompanying Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain datasets.Back to table of contents
This release contains data and indicators from a module being undertaken through the Office for National Statistics (ONS') Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on British society.
Breakdowns by age, sex, region, and country, including confidence intervals for the estimates, are contained in the Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain dataset.
Where changes in results from previous weeks are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals should be used to assess the statistical significance of the differences.
Sampling and weighting
In the period between 16 and 27 March 2022, we sampled 4,471 households. These were randomly selected from those that had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS) or OPN. The responding sample contained 3,100 individuals, representing a 69.3% response rate.
Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on June 2021 population estimates). Further information on the survey design and quality can be found in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Quality and Methodology Information.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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