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Life dissatisfaction during the covid-19 pandemic in Spain

The pandemic and its economic consequences are linked to life dissatisfaction and anxiety

María Rosalía Vicente Cuervo, Universidad de Oviedo; Pablo de Pedraza, European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre
Project selected in the Call to support research projects on the social impact of covid-19

From March 14 to June 21, 2020, Spain was under a state of alarm due to the covid-19 crisis. On October 24, 2020, a second state of alarm was declared. The Living and Working in Coronavirus (LWCV) web survey collected information on the effects of the pandemic from March to December 2020, with a final sample of 4,683 respondents. During the first state of alarm, the average life dissatisfaction, on a scale from 1 to 10, was 3.97 and 27% of respondents declared that they had suffered from anxiety and/or depression. During the second state of alarm, these figures increased to 4.6 and 45%, respectively. Anxiety and depression were mainly related to health problems, while life dissatisfaction was basically linked to economic problems.
Key points
  • 1
       People who lost income or their job due to covid-19 and people who experienced loneliness were the most dissatisfied. Job loss significantly increased life dissatisfaction across all ages, especially for the age group 35-44.
  • 2
       Having oneself suffered from covid-19 or having family members or colleagues infected had no association with life dissatisfaction.
  • 3
       The most significant associations for anxiety and depression weren’t covid-19 diagnoses but rather covid-19 symptoms and poor health generally. Women, people who had experienced loneliness, and those who had lost their job were the most likely to feel anxious and/or depressed.
  • 4
       Among those with a job, both increases and decreases of workload were linked to anxiety.
  • 5
       While living with a partner was associated with less dissatisfaction, it was also associated with higher anxiety.
  • 6
       Daily exercise was linked to a lower propensity to experience life dissatisfaction, anxiety and/or depression.
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