- 80% of adults worldwide said their lives were affected a lot or some
- The percentage saying "a lot" ranged from 67% to 10%
- Poorest adults, women with children among most affected
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After months of lockdowns, multiple waves of infections and skyrocketing death tolls, four out of five people in the 116 countries and territories that Gallup surveyed in the second half of 2020 said the coronavirus had affected their lives to at least some extent.
Nearly half of people worldwide (45%) said the virus had affected their lives "a lot," and another third (35%) said it had "some" effect on their lives. Fewer than one in five (19%) said it had not affected their lives at all. Less than one-half of 1% had never heard of it.
The percentage of people who said that the coronavirus situation had affected their lives "a lot" ranged from a high of 67% in Kenya to a low of 10% in Laos.
Heat map. The percentage of countries' populations who report their lives have been affected "a lot" by the COVID-19 pandemic. This ranges from a high of 67% in Kenya who say their lives have been impacted to a low of 10% in Laos who report a lot of disruption to their lives.
Although people's lives have been touched to varying degrees, no country has escaped being affected in some way by the virus -- whether through business shutdowns, travel restrictions or countrywide lockdowns. This is not to mention the tremendous human costs -- in 2020 alone, nearly 2 million individuals around the globe died of the disease.
At least half of the population in 34 countries and areas that span every part of the globe said their lives have been affected a lot by the coronavirus situation. These data were collected at different times in 2020 for each country, and the percentages may have changed in the weeks and months that followed. For instance, data collection in the U.S. took place in the late summer and fall of 2020. States had varying levels of restrictions during that time, which may have affected perceptions of disruption.
|Gallup World Poll, 2020|
The percentage of people who said the coronavirus situation had affected their lives "not at all" was 50% or higher in just two countries: Mali (50%) and Laos (61%). Reported cases of COVID-19 have been relatively low in both countries. In Laos, the official number of cases remains below 1,000. The situation is different in Mali, which had a relatively quiet 2020 -- when the fieldwork took place -- and has seen cases rise in 2021.
Which Populations Have Been Affected Most?
While people in every region and country are experiencing the pandemic differently, at the global level, the lives of certain groups have been affected more than others.
Although older adults are more vulnerable to dying from COVID-19 or suffering more serious effects from it, adults in the 30 to 49 age range were more likely than those in the youngest or oldest age groups to say their lives have been affected a lot. Nearly half of 30- to 49-year-olds (48%) said their lives were affected a lot, compared with 45% of those aged 15 to 29 and 41% of those in the 50 and older age cohort.
People in groups that were likely vulnerable before the pandemic -- those with the lowest incomes -- were also more likely to say their lives were affected a lot. Nearly half of adults (48%) in the lowest two levels of the income distribution in their countries -- the poorest 40% of the population -- said their lives had been affected a lot, compared with 41% in the richest 20%.
And while men and women worldwide were about as likely to say their lives were affected to this extent (46% of women versus 44% of men), women with children younger than 15 living in the home were substantially more likely to say their lives were affected a lot -- nearly half of them (49%) said this.
|Women with children at home||49|
|Gallup World Poll, 2020|
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched nearly every adult around the globe in some way. Business closures and stringent lockdowns have cost people economically and prevented them from seeing their families and other loved ones. Tens of millions of hospitalizations and millions of deaths have traumatized family members and friends of the afflicted.
For some countries, particularly those that instituted stringent public health measures early in the pandemic, the disruption of their populations' lives has been less severe than for other locations. Despite these differences, the ripples of the pandemic are likely to continue to touch most of the world's population for months or years to come.
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