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Young, Wealthy and Worried: How Americans Perceive the Pandemic

Older consumers are relatively unconcerned about their health and finances, compared with younger generations.

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Young, Wealthy and Worried: How Americans Perceive the Pandemic
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Young Americans remain disproportionately worried about the health and financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the average of weekly Bain/Dynata surveys, conducted March 2 to July 8, 32% of US consumers ages 18 to 44 report feeling very concerned. Meanwhile, only 14% of respondents age 65 and older—those at greatest risk from the virus—say they feel the same. 

For older and middle-aged Americans, concern levels are consistent, regardless of how much they make or whether they live in an urban, suburban or rural area. But for young respondents, concern levels vary significantly according to income and community. Increased apprehension is most prevalent among high-income Americans in the 18-to-44 age bracket. Of those making more than $100,000 a year, 37% express high concerns about the pandemic. When compared with their lower-income counterparts, that number falls to 32% for urban and suburban dwellers, and 21% for those living in rural areas.

The population most unsettled by the Covid-19 outbreak is also the most socially active: Since March, 69% of young respondents have engaged in at least one social activity per week, including shopping for nonessential items and dining out. This is possibly because this group may socialize more under normal circumstances. In addition, for these young consumers, unease over the financial harm of the pandemic outweighs the health risks—although young, wealthy men are notably worried about their physical health. Older populations, on the other hand, feel the potential financial and health consequences are equal.

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Data powered by Dynata, a leading global first-party data and insights platform.

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