Questions and answers about
the economy.

Understanding Society Covid-19 study

Understanding Society has launched a new monthly survey to look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the UK population. This has been funded by ESRC though the study’s discretionary budget and a £200k award from the Health Foundation. The survey covers questions relevant to the study’s core priority areas on employment, income, health, family, education, civic engagement. The first wave of the Covid-19 web survey is being fielded in late April 2020 with 42,000 Understanding Society adult participants from across the UK being invited to take part. A telephone version of the survey will be issued to non-responders and for households who do not use the internet. Fieldwork for this first wave of data collection will be completed on 29 April and data should be available to researchers from the UK Data Service by late-May. Researchers will be able to link the data from the Covid-19 survey to answers respondents have given in previous (and future) waves of the annual Understanding Society survey. The survey will include core content, repeated monthly to track changes, and variable content for which Understanding Society has published an open call for researchers across the UK to propose additional questions. The first wave of the Covid-19 questionnaire covers: Coronavirus symptoms and test results; management of long-term health conditions; caring responsibilities; loneliness; employment and financial situation; home schooling; food and alcohol consumption; exercise and smoking; and mental wellbeing. Amount funded excludes £200k from Health Foundation)

Lead investigator:

Michaela Benzeval


University of Essex

Primary topic:

Health, physical & mental

Secondary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date