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ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey

Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, Detailed Release, Australian Bureau of Statistics, May 2020

Key findings

In May:

  • Two in three people in New South Wales and Victoria (67%) reported feeling concerned or very concerned about their personal health due to the spread of COVID-19. In comparison, just over half of Queenslanders (52%) and South Australians (53%) reported the same levels of concern.
  • 31% of people born overseas felt very concerned about their health due to COVID-19, compared to 13% of people born in Australia.
  • One in three Australians (32%) had received a personal stimulus payment from the Government.
  • The most commonly reported uses of personal stimulus payments were paying household bills (42%) and adding to savings (40%).
  • People who were born overseas were twice as likely to have worn a facemask at least once in the four weeks prior to the survey (42%) than people who were born in Australia (20%).

About this issue

The Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, Detailed Release provides insight into personal experiences during the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and was collected between 10 and 23 May 2020.

The Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, Detailed Release presents information on:

  • Receipt and use of Government stimulus payments
  • Actions taken in the last four weeks in response to COVID-19
  • Level of concern for personal health due to COVID-19
  • Flu vaccinations

The scope of this survey was people aged 18 years and over in private dwellings across Australia.

About this collection

The findings below were collected as part of the Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS) from approximately 2,600 people via telephone interview. The MPHS, undertaken each financial year by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), is a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to collect statistics for a number of small, self-contained topics. For further information about the collection of this data, please refer to the Explanatory Notes.

The ABS previously published fortnightly releases of the Household Impacts of COVID-19 survey, including 12-15th and 26-29th May cycles. The fortnightly publications were based on a separate smaller sample of around 1,000 people but had similar content. The results of both surveys are broadly coherent, however due to a larger sample size this release provides more detailed information than was possible from the fortnightly survey.

This survey was designed to provide data on how Australians were responding to the spread of COVID-19. At the time of the May survey, initiatives in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the economy included:

  • international travel restrictions
  • an economic stimulus package (announced 12 March)
  • border control measures for some states and territories
  • shutting down of non-essential services and a second economic stimulus package (22 March)
  • a safety net package of $1.1 billion to expand mental health and tele-health services, increase domestic violence services and provide more emergency food relief (29 March)
  • social distancing rules and additional shutdown restrictions (20–30 March)
  • free childcare for working parents (2 April)
  • a JobKeeper payment passed in legislation on 15 April, to keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the COVID-19 restrictions
  • easing of restrictions on elective surgery gradually from 28 April
  • announcing a Federal Government three-stage plan on 8 May to begin easing restrictions
  • slight easing of restrictions in some states and territories (1-12 May)

Proportions marked with an asterisk (*) have a Margin of Error (MoE) greater than 10 percentage points which should be considered when using this information. For more information about MoE refer to the publication Explanatory Notes.

See also: Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, Detailed Release, May 2020


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