As the COVID-19 outbreak began to spread quickly among the U.S. population, researchers carried out a survey on adult participants throughout the month of March 2020.
In the survey, released by Pew Research Center, younger adults were less likely than their older counterparts to view the COVID-19 pandemic as a major threat to their personal health. Instead, researchers found younger adults saw the pandemic as a greater threat to the nation’s economy rather than the health of the U.S. population or themselves.
“Larger shares of U.S. adults view the COVID-19 outbreak as a major threat to the nation’s economy (88%) and the health of the U.S. population as a whole (66%) than to their own finances (49%) and health (36%),” according to Pew Research Center. “Across each of these areas, concerns about the outbreak have increased significantly since mid-March.”
Among adults younger than age 30, only 6% depicted the pandemic as a vast threat to their own health and not their finances. This is compared to 32% who viewed the pandemic with contrasting ideals: a major threat to finances and not personal health. 21% of respondents viewed it as a major threat to both finances and health.
“The pattern is similar among the next oldest age groups; significantly more people in their 30s through 50s say the coronavirus outbreak is a major threat to their finances and not their health than say the opposite,” the survey’s author wrote.
“But those 70 and older are about four times as likely as the youngest adults (those ages 18 to 29) to say the coronavirus outbreak is a major threat to their health but not their finances (25% vs. 6%).”
The survey also took into account partisanship, with more Democratic supporters lining up with the notion that the pandemic is a major threat to both personal health and finances, compared to Republican supporters who share dissimilar perceptions.
“About three-in-ten Democrats (29%) say that COVID-19 is a major threat to their own health and their finances compared with 19% of Republicans who feel the same way.”
“Nearly half of Republicans (47%) say it is not a major threat to either their personal financial situation or their own health; only about a third of Democrats (35%) say the same.”