COVID-19 Impact on UK Households

COVID-19 Impact: 50 per cent of UK households believe they will struggle to meet their financial commitments over the next three months.

In the first three weeks after the UK government introduced the ‘lockdown’, an estimated 7 million households (a quarter of all households in the UK) had lost either a substantial part or all of their earned income as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis.

The immediate consequences of the crisis for UK households are seen in the large numbers (28 per cent) who were experiencing financial difficulties. An estimated 3.1 million households were in serious financial difficulty and a further 4.8 million households were clearly struggling to make ends meet. Anxiety about money was widespread, with half of all householders saying that thinking about their financial situation made them anxious.

Key findings:

  • 3.1 million households are in serious financial difficulty
  • 4.8 million households are struggling to make ends meet
  • 7 million have lost a significant part of their earnings
  • 7.7 million households anticipate some fall in income in the next 3 months
  • 10.4 million households are potentially exposed financially

On housing: 

  • Of those in serious financial difficulty, 64% are renting
  • 31% are home owners

These are some of the findings from a national COVID-19 financial impact tracker published by Standard Life Foundation, which were analysed by the University of Bristol’s Emeritus Professor Elaine Kempson, and Christian Poppe at Oslo Metropolitan university.  

Professor Kempson will be leading the series of monthly surveys, designed to track the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 crisis on household economies. The analysis and reporting

is being undertaken by Bristol in collaboration with other researchers, including academics at Oslo Metropolitan University. 

You can download the full report here.

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