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Household level health and socio-economic vulnerabilities and the COVID-19 crisis: An analysis from the UK


  • Mikolai, Julia
  • Keenan, Katherine
  • Kulu, Hill


Objectives. To investigate how COVID-19-related health and socio-economic vulnerabilities occur at the household level, and how they are distributed across household types and geographical areas in the United Kingdom. Design. Cross-sectional, nationally representative study. Setting. The United Kingdom. Participants. ~19,500 households. Main outcome measures. Using multiple household-level indicators and principal components analysis, we derive summary measures representing different dimensions of household vulnerabilities critical during the COVID-19 epidemic: health, employment, housing, financial and digital. Results. Our analysis highlights three key findings. First, although COVID-19 health risks are concentrated in retirement-age households, a substantial proportion of working age households also face these risks. Second, different types of households exhibit different vulnerabilities, with working-age households more likely to face financial, housing and employment precarities, and retirement-age households health and digital vulnerabilities. Third, there are area-level differences in the distribution of vulnerabilities across England and the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Conclusions. The findings imply that the short- and long-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis are likely to vary by household type. Policy measures that aim to mitigate the health and socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic should consider how vulnerabilities cluster together across different household types, and how these may exacerbate already existing inequalities.

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  • Mikolai, Julia & Keenan, Katherine & Kulu, Hill, 2020. "Household level health and socio-economic vulnerabilities and the COVID-19 crisis: An analysis from the UK," SocArXiv 4wtz8, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:4wtz8
    DOI: 10.31219/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bayer, Christian & Kuhn, Moritz, 2020. "Intergenerational ties and case fatality rates: A cross-country analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 14519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. repec:ajk:ajkpbs:003 is not listed on IDEAS
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