Well-being and COVID-19

The Cantril ladder serves as a proxy for life satisfaction. Life satisfaction is a powerful measure of the quality of people’s lives. The annual World Happiness Reports attributes the differences over time and between countries to good health, income and the quality of the social environment. These factors are changing under COVID-19, often in ways we have never experienced before. The YouGov life satisfaction data, collected regularly as the pandemic evolves in each survey country, provides a valuable barometer reading of life under COVID-19, reflecting each country’s institutions and policies.

Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and CSD have contributed to the COVID-19 Behavior Tracker at Imperial College London and the the Cantril Ladder Score Dashboard.

The Behavior Tracker tracks how people are responding to the coronavirus around the world, including behavior regarding hygiene, quality of life, and whether or not individuals are complying with safety measures.

The Cantril Dashboard gives weekly updates on national levels of life satisfaction under the Coronavirus, and includes the following view options:

  1. Three-week average comparison: this is the landing page of the dashboard. It allows you to compare countries’ 3-week average, ending on the selected week. Please note that not all countries are available for all weeks. Means are provided with 95% confidence intervals for comparison purposes.  
  2. Country changes over time: this dashboard allows you to look at changes over time for a single country. If you click on a single week you will see the distribution of responses by steps to the right. Again, means are provided with 95% confidence intervals.  
  3. Changes in relation to the number of cases: this view allows you to look at the average Cantril ladder score for a given country against their Covid-19 cases. You can choose between confirmed cases, deaths, or recovered cases. The timespan of cases is much longer than that of our survey responses, but this allows us to place the responses we have in the broader context of the Covid-19 curve for that country.
  4. Changes in relation to stringency indices: this view allows you to look at the average Cantril ladder score of countries against the stringency indices. Oxford has updated its methodology to include multiple indices, so you can now choose to view each one separately. We include the full dataset of indices in order to place the response we have in the broader context of the country’s policies.

Highlights and quotes from the first joint-publication between the ICL-YouGov Behavior Tracker team and the World Happiness Report team may be found on the Institute of Global Health Innovation webpage.