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Coronavirus statistics: tracking global public sentiment over time

Coronavirus statistics: tracking global public sentiment over time

As people across the world adjust to life in the time of coronavirus, organizations are contributing however they can—gyms are sharing free online classes, musicians are offering virtual performances, and healthcare workers are working around the clock to keep people as healthy as possible. At SurveyMonkey, our research team has dedicated themselves to daily research. Since mid-February, we’ve surveyed more than 2.25 million people about their outlook and concerns about the virus. Some of our research is static—one-time surveys that focus on a specific topic—while other data is updated regularly so that we can follow trends over time. 

We’ll continue to update this post as we go, with fresh data at the top.

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All our coronavirus research findings

August

NBC/SurveyMonkey trust and education amidst the coronavirus (August 8, 2020 | Sample size: 47,190): In general, people are much more inclined to take their cues from local authorities than the executive branch. A majority of Americans (58%) say they do not trust what Donald Trump has said about the coronavirus, while 58%  approve of the way their governors are managing the crisis. There is also discord in how schools are managing the pandemic.

Key findings about trust during the coronavirus:

  • The 58% who distrust the president include nearly all Democrats and Democratic leaners (93%), two-thirds of independents (66%), and more than one in five (22%) Republicans and GOP leaners. 
  • So who do people trust to have the right information? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (55%), Anthony Fauci (51%), and their state’s governor (49%).
  • Nearly four in 10 (38%) say their children’s schools will begin with all learning conducted online, 25% say their children’s schools will have a mixture of online and in-person instruction. As of this research (just weeks before school was scheduled to start), 18% of parents didn’t know what their school’s plans were.

July

SurveyMonkey/NBC poll: concerns about health and the economy (July 6, 2020 | Sample size: 44,557): The virus is impacting broad swathes of people’s lives, and many are worried about both the health and financial repercussions. For now, the bigger concern is health.

Key findings about health and economic concerns: 

  • Health-related coronavirus concerns outweigh economic concerns at this time, with 56% of the country saying the coronavirus outbreak is more of a health crisis and 43% saying it is more of an economic crisis.
  • Half the country is “very worried” about a potential second wave of the coronavirus, but only 36% say they are “very worried” they or someone in their family will be exposed to the virus.
  • Only 3% of people consider the economy to be “excellent”, but 44% find it to be “fair” and 32% believe that it is “poor.”

New York Times/SurveyMonkey coronavirus poll (July 12, 2020 | Sample size: 6,155): For the 4th month in a row, the New York Times/SurveyMonkey shows Americans are pessimistic about the economy during the coronavirus crisis. 49% of respondents in the survey said they expect to be in the same financial situation they are today—the largest amount SurveyMonkey has recorded in over 3 years of asking this question.

Key findings on Americans’ coronavirus concerns:

  • 76% worry about a potential second wave of the virus in the fall
  • 60% say they think there will be periods of widespread economic depression and unemployment in the next 5 years
  • The number of workers who have lost their jobs and returned to work jumped from 29% in June to 40% in July.

NBC News/SurveyMonkey coronavirus and reopening poll (July 12, 2020 | Sample size: 53,106) There are nearly 2x as many people in the US who say we are reopening too quickly rather than too slowly, but there are deep divides between political parties on the issue. 9 out of 10 Democrats say we’re opening too quickly, while only a third of Republicans agree.

Key findings on coronavirus and reopening:

  • 63% of people overall say the US is opening too quickly, while 34% say it’s opening too slowly.
  • 89% of Democrats are concerned about reopening too quickly while 34% of Republicans say the same.
  • 63% of Republicans say the economy is reopening too slowly while 10% of Democrats agree.

Fortune/SurveyMonkey Walmart and ecommerce poll (July 14, 2020 | Sample size: 2,717): 

A majority of people say ecommerce has been essential for their household during the coronavirus crisis. Three-quarters of respondents said they’ve made a purchase from Amazon since the crisis began, more than twice as many as the people who say they’ve made a purchase at Walmart, the next highest online retailer.

Key findings on Walmart and ecommerce:

  • 40% of US households say they’ve been spending more on ecommerce since the crisis began
  • 36% of people say they’ve shopped online at Walmart since the crisis, half of the 76% who say they’ve shopped at Amazon.
  • 47% of people say they’ve been spending less overall since the start of the pandemic. 

More people approve of the way their governor is handling the pandemic than approve of the way President Trump is handling the response. Democratic governors receive higher scores than their Republican counterparts but governors’ approval across the board is slipping.

Key findings on governors’ approval during coronavirus:

  • 58% of people say they approve of how their governor is handling the crisis, while 43% approve of President Trump’s handling of it.
  • 62% of people in states run by Democrats approve of their governor’s handling of the crisis, while 54% of people in Republican-run states agree.
  • 23% say they strongly disapprove of how their governor is handling the crisis, up from 20% earlier this month.

Fortune/SurveyMonkey coronavirus and politics poll (July 21, 2020 | Sample size: 2,802) In a poll with Fortune, SurveyMonkey found that a majority of Americans support a second round of stimulus checks and extending the weekly federal unemployment checks—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. A large majority of Americans also say they’re wearing masks while outside, though Democrats were more likely to say they do.

Key findings on coronavirus and politics:

  • 67% of people in the poll say they always wear a mask when in public. 85% of Democrats say they do
  • 80% of people in the poll support a second round of stimulus checks and extending $600 federal unemployment checks
  • 67% of Republicans, 92% of Democrats, and 86% of Independents support more stimulus to help during the coronavirus crisis

SurveyMonkey/CNBC Small Business Index (July 27, 2020 | Sample size: 2,040): SurveyMonkey’s small business index score (a number designed to indicate how well small businesses are doing) was the second lowest that it’s ever been this quarter (53 out of 100), but it is also more optimistic than the score last quarter (49).

A majority of small business owners (64%) now say they can continue operating under current conditions for more than a year, exactly double the number for whom that was true three months ago (32%).

Key findings about small businesses during the coronavirus:

  • 69% of people say the coronavirus outbreak will probably have permanent effects on the way they run their business
  • Just 36% of small business owners say current business conditions are good, compared to 56% in Q1. Meanwhile, 23% say current business conditions are bad, compared with 7% pre-virus.
  • More than half (58%) were able to remain open (to some extent) throughout the pandemic.
  • 35% say demand for their business’s core products or services increased in the past three months, up from 17% last quarter.

June

SurveyMonkey/New York Times poll: job loss and concern during coronavirus (June 7, 2020 | Sample size: 5,703):  17% of people have lost their job since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, but, 29% have also already returned to work. 7 in 10 felt confident that they’d be keeping their jobs in the coming weeks. With so much tumult, people became opinionated about what the country needs in order to stay economically stable, and people’s concerns are divided between health and economics.

Key findings about job loss and concern: 

  • 54%  of people say the coronavirus outbreak is more of an economic crisis for the country as a whole, while 44% now say it is more of a health crisis (a reversal of the results from May when the results were 45% for economic crisis and 53% for health)
  •  71% are worried about the possibility of a new wave of coronavirus cases in the fall, including nearly four in 10 people (38%) who are “very worried. This fear is especially prevalent in non-white racial groups.
  • 45% of people approve of the way President Trump is handling the federal government’s coronavirus response—87% among Republicans and GOP people and, only 9% among Democrats.

Coronavirus concerns remain steady (July 26, 2020): Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic remain steady in the U.S. despite a summer of start-and-stop reopenings across the country. In the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey tracking poll, 49% of people nationwide continue to say they are very worried about a potential second wave of the virus—a number that has not budged over the past three weeks.

Key findings about coronavirus concerns:

  • 37% say they are very worried that they or someone in their family will be exposed.
  • 66% say they are very worried that the coronavirus outbreak will have a negative economic effect on the country as a whole.
  • Fewer than one quarter of people in the U.S. (23%) consider the current state of the economy to be good or excellent. 

May

SurveyMonkey distance learning poll (May 6, 2020 | Sample size: 1,812) In this followup study originally conducted in March, SurveyMonkey set out to see how the distance learning imposed by the coronavirus crisis is going for students in enrolled higher-ed schools and what support they need to continue their education.

Key findings about distance learning during coronavirus:

  • 58% of students say they feel unprepared to continue to learn via distance learning for an unknown period of time.
  • Only 35% of students said they’d be comfortable with returning to campus in the fall.
  • 47% say they want to get updates from their school about coronavirus daily or every 2-3 days

SurveyMonkey/New York Times consumer confidence poll (May 10, 2020 | Sample size: 5,733): As consumer confidence holds steady during this month of the coronavirus crisis, peoples’ forward-looking impressions on the economy have never been more grim. More people are expecting economic depression and widespread unemployment to last and more people expect to see worsening business conditions in the future.

Key findings about consumer confidence in May:

  • 60% expect periods of widespread unemployment and economic depression over the coming 5 years.
  • Only 33% expect to be better off financially a year from now, while 46% expect to be the same and 20% expect to be worse off.
  • 40% expect business conditions to be bad rather than good in the next 12 months.

SurveyMonkey/Fortune streaming during coronavirus poll (May 11, 2020 | Sample size: 1,253) Americans are streaming television more often during the coronavirus crisis, far more than people who cable TV. As people across the country social distance, inside activities like watching TV and cooking is increasing, and the numbers prove it.

Key findings about streaming during the coronavirus crisis:

  • 61% of Americans say they’ve been streaming TV since the start of the coronavirus crisis, while 27% say they’ve been watching cable TV
  • 45% say they use streaming services every day, up from 30% before the crisis in November
  • More people say they use Netflix than people who say they use Amazon Prime or Hulu

SurveyMonkey/CNBC Workforce Happiness Index (May 11, 2020 | Sample size: 9,059) Despite the upheaval of the coronavirus, there’s been an uptick in workers’ job satisfaction and happiness measures. This year’s Workplace Happiness Index score measures at 73 out of 100, compared to last year’s score of 71, and includes insight into how workers may be reevaluating their views and expectations on work in general.

Key findings about workforce happiness during coronavirus:

  • 38% of workers say they are happier to have their job now than they were before the outbreak
  • 11% of workers say that they now wish they had a different job, while 51% say they feel the same about their job now as they did before the coronavirus outbreak
  • 83% of workers say they are confident their organization’s leadership is making the right business decisions to manage through the current environment.

SurveyMonkey/Fortune reopening update poll (May 26, 2020 | Sample size: 4,109): In a month, Americans’ sentiments about the coronavirus crisis has changed in several ways, and it shows in the data. Fewer Americans anticipate a quick return to normalcy and more people expect things to take more than a year to get back to back to normal.

Key findings about distance learning during coronavirus:

  • The number of Americans who expect things to return to normalcy in a year has increased from 21% to 31%
  • 62% of Americans are concerned businesses will open to quickly rather than too slowly
  • 54% of Americans say they “always” wear a mask when in public

 SurveyMonkey/Recode poll: Amazon and the coronavirus (May 29, 2020 | Sample size: 1,711): Amazon is famously “customer obsessed”, but the pandemic is testing the company with skyrocketing demand and greater risks to frontline employees. As Amazon fights to keep up it’s exceptional reputation and maintain the level of service that customers have come to expect, it also has to put its own wellbeing (and that of its employees) at risk. We decided to get more detail about people’s personal usage of the service and overall viewpoint.

Key findings about Amazon during the coronavirus:

  • 64% of adults in the U.S. say they subscribe to Amazon Prime, up slightly from 61% in  November. 31% say they’re using Amazon now more than they were before the start of the coronavirus outbreak, while 46% say they’re using it about as much as before and 18% are using it less.
  • Most people (56%) say their impression of Amazon has stayed about the same during the coronavirus pandemic, while about even numbers say it has gotten better (21%) and gotten worse (20%).  
  • However, when we asked in January, 74% of people approved of Amazon, compared to 58% now

April

Common Sense Media/SurveyMonkey: coronavirus and teenagers poll (April 1, 2020 | Sample size: 849) The majority of American teenagers (91%) are dealing with cancelled in-person classes as a result of the pandemic, along with growing concerns related to the virus’s impact on their family. The coronavirus has also changed how teens are socializing and keeping up with schoolwork, with strikingly different experiences reported for teenagers of color and public school students.

Key findings about teens and coronavirus:

  • 63% of teens say they’re worried about their family’s ability to make a living during the pandemic; that number jumped to 90% among Hispanic teens
  • 49% of teen girls say they feel more lonely than usual, compared to 36% of teen boys
  • 82% of private school students say they’ve attended an online or virtual class since the end of in-person classes, compared to 53% of public school students
  • Private school students are more likely than public school students to say they’re using video chat or videoconferencing (88% vs. 39%)

SurveyMonkey/Fortune poll: coronavirus, airlines, and stimulus (April 14, 2020 | Sample size: 5,755) Since March, concerns about the coronavirus have held steady or slightly decreased—but people are beginning to report on the deeper economic effect on their work, expenses, and travel plans.

Key findings about economic impact in April:

  • 32% of full and part-time workers say they had their hours or pay cut as a result of the coronavirus
  • 47% of people say they will use their stimulus check to pay off bills
  • 50% of people say they’ve already canceled or changed upcoming travel plans, and another 12% say they’re likely to change or cancel
  • 71% of people said the earliest they would consider flying again is four or more months from now

SurveyMonkey/Fortune poll: reopening the economy (April 28, 2020 | Sample size: 4,717) Health and economic repercussions are top of mind for Americans contending with the coronavirus crisis. More than half of people are viewing the potential reopening of businesses with caution, with a clear majority (62%) more concerned that businesses in their area will reopen too quickly rather than too slowly.

Key findings about reopening businesses during the pandemic:

  • 52% consider the coronavirus outbreak to be more of a health crisis, versus 47% who consider it more of an economic crisis
  • 45% want non-elective surgeries or closed doctors office to reopen now
  • 30% say retail and commercial businesses should reopen now
  • 19% want dine-in restaurants to open now

SurveyMonkey/LeanIn.org wellbeing and work among women during coronavirus (April 30, 2020): Research from our poll with LeanIn.org shows that the coronavirus crisis is having a disproportionate impact on women’s lives and livelihoods. Women reported more stress-related physical symptoms from the crisis and more significant challenges related to it.

Key findings about women’s wellbeing and work during coronavirus:

  • 52% of women reported trouble sleeping vs 32% of men
  • 40% of women work at a company that goes above and beyond with support
  • 20% of black women say they work at a company that goes above and beyond with support

March

SurveyMonkey/Axios coronavirus trust poll: (March 13 | Sample size: 7,925) Research with Axios found that a majority of Americans say they trust major US health organizations and agencies to protect the country from a major outbreak of coronavirus. The CDC, NIH, state health departments, and WHO all had high marks on trust from the American people.

Key findings about coronavirus and trust:

  • A majority of people said they trusted the CDC (75%), the NIH (68%), state health departments (68%) and WHO (66%).
  • 42% say they trust President Trump to protect them from an outbreak.
  • 79% of Americans say they’re following coronavirus updates in the news.

SurveyMonkey/Fortune March coronavirus update poll: (March 17 | Sample size: 2,960) Concerns about the coronavirus spiked dramatically in the second week of March, with large majorities of the country expressing concerns about the health of them and their families and about the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Key findings about March coronavirus concerns:

  • The proportion of people worried about the health of them or their family jumped from 50% to 69%.
  • 82% said there’s likely to be a recession in the next year—up from 63% last week.
  • 89% are worried about the economic impact of the coronavirus, up from 75% last week.

LeanIn.Org/SurveyMonkey poll: Coronavirus paid leave (March 21, 2020 | Sample size: 2,753) Across party lines and demographics, Americans are in agreement that at least some workers should have access to paid leave for illness or quarantine related to the coronavirus. 95% of people selected at least one group of workers from a list that included grocery store employees, restaurant workers, and emergency responders, among others.

Key findings about coronavirus and paid leave:

  • 73% of Americans support the new Coronavirus paid leave legislation, with little difference in total support by age, gender, employment status, and political party
  • 82% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans say they’re more likely to vote for representatives who vote for all workers to have access to paid sick leave during the pandemic
  • Only 6% of Americans say they are less likely to vote for their state’s representatives if they vote for expanding paid leave

Fortune/SurveyMonkey poll: coronavirus and bailouts (March 24, 2020 | Sample size: 1,672) A large majority of Americans support federal bailout measures in response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. People’s concerns regarding their family’s potential exposure and the country’s economy have also risen in the past week.

Key findings about coronavirus and federal assistance:

  • 85% of people support one-time cash payments to all Americans, 82% support federal assistance to companies, and 79% support a payroll tax cut
  • 76% of people are now worried they or someone in their family will be exposed, up from 69 last week
  • 91% are now worried about the economic impact of coronavirus on the U.S., up from 89% last week