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Most at Risk, Older Americans Least Worried about Coronavirus

Younger Americans are taking the threat to their health and finances much more seriously than older generations.

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Most at Risk, Older Americans Least Worried about Coronavirus
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Younger Americans are more concerned than older people about the dangers of COVID-19, and they’re far more likely to have taken actions to protect themselves.

A Bain/Dynata survey from March 2 to 6 showed that roughly one-third of people age 18 to 44 expect serious health or financial consequences from the coronavirus, compared with 5% to 17% of people in older age groups. Overall, 42% of respondents have taken precautionary steps such as going out less or stocking up on food and health supplies, signifying a mass adoption of responses to COVID-19.

But the survey found a discrepancy between the risk of disease and the likelihood of taking action. Sixty-seven percent of younger people, who are statistically the least susceptible to illness, said they’ve taken such steps, compared with 29% of people age 45 to 64, and 24% of people 65 and older, the group at greatest risk from the virus.

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Karen Harris is managing director of Bain & Company's Macro Trends Group and is based in the firm's New York office. 

Dynata provides first-party data for the Bain Consumer Health Index, and provides a nationally representative sample of US adults (weekly) that provided the underlying data for this analysis. 

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