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    What are the impacts of the pandemic on the health and lives of Quebecers?

    Montréal, October 19, 2021. – The Institut de la statistique du Québec released today some of the results from the Québec Population Health Survey carried out in 2020-2021. These results focus on the feelings of loneliness, health concerns, lifestyle changes, work, and financial situation of Quebecers.

    Social life and feelings of loneliness

    More than three-quarters of Quebecers (77%) feel that their satisfaction with their social life has decreased since the start of the pandemic.

    Regarding feelings of loneliness, 19% often felt they lacked company, 18% often felt isolated from others, and 10% often felt left out.

    Feelings of loneliness were more frequent among:

    • women;
    • young people under the age of 35;
    • students;
    • persons living alone or in a single-parent family; and
    • those who perceive themselves as poor.

    Concerns for loved ones and own health

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, 73% of Quebecers have worried about the health of at-risk loved ones and 62% about their own health. These proportions vary by gender, age, and the presence or absence of children in the household.

    Among all Quebecers, 5% report having increased the frequency of their cigarette consumption. In addition, 14% have increased their alcohol consumption with the pandemic, while 17% have decreased it.

    Impacts on work and financial situation

    The pandemic has affected the employment situation of many Quebecers: 25% have had to start working from home and 27% have lost their job or closed their business temporarily or permanently. Young people aged 15 to 24 represented the largest proportion of those who experienced such changes (40%).

    On the other hand, more than a quarter of Quebecers have had difficulty meeting their financial obligations or their basic needs (26%). This percentage is even higher among those who lost their job because of the pandemic (49%).

    Québec Population Health Survey

    The Québec Population Health Survey (QPHS) is a cross-sectional survey with a provincial, regional and local scope that aims to collect information on the lifestyle habits, physical and mental health, and certain health determinants of Quebecers aged 15 and over. It is conducted every six years on behalf of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

    Of the 45,000 respondents to this survey, 7,000 answered questions specifically about the COVID-19 pandemic between November 2020 and April 2021, which made it possible to measure some of the impacts of the pandemic on the lives of Quebecers aged 15 and over.

    The full QPHS results will be released in May 2023.

    The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for conducting all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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