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Adversities related to well-being and personal finance in Spain during the pandemic: not the same for everyone

Iris Lopes-Rafegas, Gemma Castaño-Vinyals, Ximena Goldberg, Manolis Kogevinas and Elisa Sicuri, Institute for Global Health; Rafael de Cid, Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute
Project selected in the Social Research Call2020

In Spain, in addition to excess morbidity and mortality, the pandemic has caused remarkable consequences in terms of increased difficulties related to well-being and personal finance. The study on which this article is based, with a sample of 7,000 individuals, analysed whether the difficulties experienced during the pandemic differed across four dimensions: age, gender, education, and income. In this sense, adversities have not hit the population evenly: inequalities exist in the occurrence and magnitude of difficulties across several demographic and socio-economic dimensions.
Key points
  • 1
       In Spain, individuals with the highest level of education and income reported more difficulties bearing state mandates during lockdown, both when dealing with the restrictions on social life and when managing conflict within the family. However, they reported greater levels of perceived social support.
  • 2
       Perceived social support was significantly lower in May-December 2021 compared to April-August 2020. This may be because when the strict lockdown ended in May 2020, people made a special effort to connect with others in their close social circles.
  • 3
       From a financial perspective, the pandemic was a greater shock to people with the lowest levels of education and income. For those at the lowest level of income, financial problems increased in 2021, which may be a result of cumulative debt and unemployment spells.
  • 4
       The 40-50 age group showed less capacity to recover from the economic difficulties faced in 2020, with persistent levels of economic struggle in 2021, compared with older age groups.
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