"Health" remains no.1 focus for people in Ireland in 2018 – but is slipping down the public agenda year on year

"Money" worries more prevalent for people in 2018 than they were last year


Published  18 April 2018
   5 min read

Despite Ireland’s strong economic growth over the last few years, a new survey from Royal London has found that 46% of Irish people still regard money as their biggest source of worry – a 9% increase on the survey findings last year.

The protection specialist commissioned a survey of 1,000 people throughout the country, which was conducted on its behalf by market research company iReach. This is the 3rd survey in as many years where Royal London has asked the same questions to gain insight into what is high on people’s personal agendas, and how these trends are changing year on year.

Speaking of the findings, Joe Charles, Royal London Head of Proposition, said:

“The marked difference between 2016 and 2017 could have been the case that the public were buoyed last year by the reports of the continuing growth of the economy, and as a result they were more optimistic in terms of their levels of disposable income. However, since then factors such as the rise in the price of housing, Brexit and geopolitical uncertainty could have had an influence on people’s sense of financial security and well-being.

“The fact that the survey found money to be the greatest worry for those in the 18 – 34 year age bracket (51%), lends weight to the idea that rent and property issues could well be contributing factors to people’s increasing money concerns, as this is the cohort likely to be most impacted by such matters. Money was less of a concern for those aged 55 and above (29%) which hopefully points to that age group having the appropriate financial plans in place as they get closer to retirement.”

In terms of people’s primary worries, the overall survey responses were:

  2018 2017 2016
Money 46% 37% 46%
Family 15% 22% 14%
Health 15% 18% 19%
Work 11% 8% 10%
Loneliness/Social isolation 6% 8% 4%
Relationship/Love 5% 6% 5%
Friends 2% 1% 2%

Other findings include:

  • 15% of respondents’ biggest worry this year is family related compared to 22% in 2017.
  • People are less likely to worry about health and family this year compared to 2017.
  • Work is rising on the public agenda in terms of worry.
  • More women (50%) than men (42%) are concerned about money this year.

The survey also tracked primary areas of focus:

  2018 2017 2016
Health related - get in better shape/get fit 32% 37% 40%
Career related - Get a job/get promoted/get pay rise 23% 26% 21%
Travel related - see more of the world/move abroad 17% 13% 13%
Family related - start a family/grow my family 13% 10% 12%
Property related - move house/buy a house/rent a house 9% 8% 9%
Love related - find love/getting engaged/get married 6% 6% 5%

Joe continued,

“Within this element of the survey, health emerges as a number one focus for people, as it did in 2017, but there is a noticeably steady decline year on year.

“Travel seems to be growing in popularity with 17% saying that it’s a major focus this year. This increase might be down to the fact that people’s disposable incomes have grown in recent years* . Although it’s interesting that money is still the biggest worry. Another interesting statistic is that people’s focus on their career is down to 23% compared to 26% in 2017, while work itself has become more of a worry. There’s increased focus on starting/growing a family, up from 10% in 2017 to 13% in 2018. Indeed, this aligns with recent CSO figures which indicate the number of families in Ireland has increased by 3.3% from 2011-2016** .”

Other findings reveal that males are more focused on family than their female counterparts, and that people in Dublin put a greater focus on property than the rest of the country.

Other findings included:

  • The percentage of people looking for love over the years has remained steady moving just 1% from 5% in 2016 to 6% in the years following.
  • Those who aren’t married are more likely to focus on their career, as are those in the 18 – 34 year old age group.
  • Females are more focused than males on health – and interestingly those who are married are also more concerned with this.
  • Loneliness is an issue for more than approximately 1 in 10 of those who are not married and also those aged over 55.

- ENDS - 

Download press release here (PDF 7.6mb)