Impact of COVID-19

Quarantine for old people

The impact of COVID-19 is showing markedly for some households and regions, the latest research finds. Around 1.114 million adults say their households are financially worse off than last year, while around 575,000 say they’re better off.

Data from Horizon Research shows people in some regions feeling much worse off than in others. On the South Island’s West Coast 53% say their households are worse off, compared with the national average of 33%.

Others feeling worse than average include Canterbury 44% and Northland 42%. Nationwide 50% of adults say their households’ financial position is about the same as a year ago. Overall, 16% say it is better.

The regions showing the above-average numbers feeling better off include Otago 25%, Whanganui, Manawatu, Palmerston North, Rangitikei, Ruapehu and Horowhenua 21%, Waikato 22% and Nelson, Marlborough, and Tasman 21%.

35-44-year-olds most likely to feel worse off

43% of 35-44 years olds feel their households are worse off – the highest of any age group.  If you are 65 or more, you are least likely to feel worse off, Horizon says, and two-thirds of those aged 65 or more say their financial position is about the same as the previous year.

25-34 year-olds are the most likely to feel better off: 25% compared with the national average of 16%.

Businesspeople feel it’s worse, farmers better

By occupation, businesspeople are more likely than average to feel their households are financially worse off.

43% of business manager and executives feel they’re worse off, compared with 31% of adults overall. Among business proprietors and self-employed 33% feel worse off – in line with the national average.

26% of farm owners and managers say they’re worse off – while 39% say they’re better off (the highest result for any occupation group). 35% say they’re about the same.

Large families, solo parents feeling worse off

Horizon says extended families are feeling worst off. Some 46% of those types of households say they’re worse off, compared with 33% overall.

Similarly, 41% of those in one-parent households with three or more children are feeling worse off, along with 40% of single-parent households with one or two children at home.

Horizon’s Principal, Graeme Colman, said the data indicates the economic impact of COVID-19 has adversely affected businesspeople, the lower paid and larger and solo-parent families more than average.

“The pandemic hasn’t cut evenly, and some are reporting their households are ending the past year in much better positions.”

Data is from a December Horizon 2020 survey of 1,595 adults nationwide, representing the 18+ population at the last census. At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error on the overall sample is +/- 2.5%.