Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Publications COVID‐19 and Inequalities

COVID‐19 and Inequalities

Journal article | Fiscal Studies, Volume 41, Issue 2

This paper brings together evidence from various data sources and the most recent studies to describe what we know so far about the impacts of the COVID‐19 crisis on inequalities across several key domains of life, including employment and ability to earn, family life and health. We show how these new fissures interact with existing inequalities along various key dimensions, including socio‐economic status, education, age, gender, ethnicity and geography. We find that the deep underlying inequalities and policy challenges that we already had are crucial in understanding the complex impacts of the pandemic itself and our response to it, and that the crisis does in itself have the potential to exacerbate some of these pre‐existing inequalities fairly directly. Moreover, it seems likely that the current crisis will leave legacies that will impact inequalities in the long term. These possibilities are not all disequalising, but many are.

Deaton inequality website

More on this topic

Press release
Inequalities in mortality rates by socioeconomic position had been rising in England prior to the pandemic, both for men and women. Males in the poorest 10% of local geographical areas were on average 37% more likely to die than men in the richest 10% of areas in 2003. By 2017, they were 63%, or ...
Newspaper article
It is bad enough that parental background is such a strong determinant of educational and labour market success. But at least we all have some individual responsibility for how well we progress, even if some have much better chances than others. Our inheritances we cannot control. And as a new ...
Press release
Inheritances have been growing as a share of national income in the UK since the 1970s. That trend looks set to continue: older generations hold more wealth than their predecessors and younger generations have incomes no higher than the generations born just before them. As a result, inheritances ...