Pandemic hurting finances, stress levels and relationships: report

Almost one in two Australians say they are more stressed because of the COVID-19 crisis.

senior couple having problems in relationship at park together

Almost one in two Australians, 47 per cent, say they are more stressed because of the COVID-19 crisis, according to new data from the Australian National University (ANU).

The findings, based on a survey of over 3200 Australians, also show three in 10 Australians say their finances have worsened during the pandemic.

Co-author Professor Nicholas Biddle said the pandemic had also worsened Australians' outlook for the future, with 40 per cent feeling pessimistic.

Meanwhile, 43 per cent of Australians are feeling lonely or isolated due to the crisis and related lockdowns.

The study also examined how Australians felt about their relationships, with almost one in five females (17.6 per cent) and males (17.5 per cent) saying they were worse off.

However, three in 10 females (30.8 per cent) said their relationships had improved, compared to around one in four males (24.9 per cent).

Younger Australians were more likely to report their relationships had worsened (24.1 per cent), while those aged 75 years or older were least likely (7.5 per cent). The age group with the most improved relationships were 35 to 44-year-olds (32.9 per cent).

The age groups with the highest net improvement (subtracting the number of people who said their relationship had worsened from those who said it had improved) were those aged 4554 years (15.3 per cent), 3544 years (13.8 per cent) and 75 years and older (13.3 per cent).

In other key findings, only 22.5 per cent of the population are estimated to have not experienced any of these negative changes during the COVID-19 period compared to 51.6 per cent who reported no improvements in the same measures.

"This is all taking a major toll on Australians' mental health," Prof. Biddle said.

"Australia has been very fortunate during the COVID-19 period with low rates of infection and mortality.

"However, that does not mean that there have not been large negative effects on other important outcomes, like our relationships, sense of financial security, stress, and loneliness.”

Prof. Biddle also said that the longitudinal data showed that deterioration in relationships and increases in loneliness were directly associated with worsening mental health.

"We need to make sure those Australians who are feeling worse off due to the COVID-19 crisis are given the support they need," he said.

How has your relationship with your partner fared during the pandemic? Has it improved or worsened?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Ted Wards
    9th Jul 2020
    Interesting there is no information about those who have had no changes at all, of which there are many. Once again a small sample of 3200 is not a large enough sample size to draw generalised conclusions for the public.
    9th Jul 2020
    Sweden elected to have no lockdowns, their death rate is 40% worst than USA per capita and 600% worst than neighbouring countries. Yet their economy has faired no better. They have slipped into recession just the same.
    9th Jul 2020
    Too many people are concentrating on the what they believe they have lost instead of being grateful for they still have.
    Back in the 70's there was no concentration on stock market reports on TV and people spouting about financial planning etc. Today we have far too much worry on money and fear of losing some of it. It is interesting when travelling in countries who are much poorer than Australia but the happiness of the people is much higher.
    We live in a society where we are captives of our possessions and are frightened that we might lose them.
    Loosen up people we don't need heaps of money in the bank to be happy. An old saying that the best things in life are free is still true.
    9th Jul 2020
    I totally agree
    9th Jul 2020
    U.S. Government Spends Another $1.6 BILLION on COVID Vaccine with Company that “Never Brought a Product to Market”
    9th Jul 2020
    What about those returned travelers from overseas who spent 14 days in quarantine and then one in three refused to be tested. Some of them would have been positive and now the whole of Victoria is suffering. The staff that allowed those to leave should now be held responsible

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles