Demographic divide in likelihood to download and report symptoms on the Government’s contact tracing app

New polling by Ipsos MORI for The Health Foundation shows variations among demographic groups in knowledge of the Government’s Coronavirus app and likelihood to download and report symptoms on it.

The author(s)

  • Toby Piachaud Public Affairs
  • Joanna Barry Public Affairs
  • Kate Duxbury Public Affairs
Get in touch

Polling by the Health Foundation and Ipsos MORI – conducted in July prior to the announcement that a redesigned app would be piloted and rolled out – reinforces concerns of a potential digital divide along the lines of occupation, educational level and age. People from a BAME background, women, the youngest age group, routine and skilled manual workers, and the unemployed, are found to have lower awareness of the app. The following groups are less likely to say they know a great deal or fair amount about the app:
•    BAME background: 41% saying they know a great deal or fair amount, compared with 47% overall.
•    Women: 42% say they know a great deal or fair amount about the app, compared with 54% of men.  
•    People in the youngest age groups: Only 36% of 18 to 24 year olds say they know a great deal or fair amount about the app (compared with 47% overall).
•    Socio-economic differences: Just 33% of routine and manual workers, state pensioners and the unemployed say they know a great deal or fair amount (compared with 47% overall), while awareness is also lower among skilled manual workers (41% know a great deal or fair amount).

The polling also shows that people in professional, administrative and management roles are more likely to say they would download the app, report symptoms and self-isolate if the app advises to. Those with GCSE or equivalent qualifications or with no formal qualifications are less likely to say they would download the app. Younger people (18-24) are more likely to say they would download the app, use the app and self-isolate based on its advice, while the oldest age groups (65+) are the least likely to do so. polling results on public intention to download and use the app, and likelihood to self-isolate

•    Younger people (18-24) are in general more likely to say they would download the app, use the app and self-isolate for 14 days, while the oldest age groups (65+) are less likely to say they would download the app, use the app and self-isolate for 14 days (largely because they are less likely to own a smartphone – around 21% do not, compared with around 6% overall).
•    Socio-economic groups: People in professional, administrative and management roles are more likely to say they would download the app, report symptoms and self-isolate if the app suggests (64%; 72%; 87% respectively compared with 52%; 64%; 84% overall).
•    Education: People with no formal qualifications or GCSE or equivalent qualifications are least likely to say they would download the app (31% and 47% respectively say they would, compared with 52% overall).

 

 

Technical note:
The July survey was conducted by telephone on the Ipsos MORI CATI Omnibus survey, a weekly telephone omnibus survey of a representative sample of people aged 18 and over in Great Britain. Fieldwork took place between 17th July and 29th July 2020. A total of 2,246 people were interviewed. For the main sample, quotas were set on age, gender, Government Office Region and working status. In addition to the people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds interviewed as part of the main sample, a booster survey was conducted. The sample includes a total of 423 interviews conducted with BAME participants.
For the overall July findings, data has been weighted to the known population proportions for age within gender, Government Office Region and working status and social grade. For the BAME findings, data has been weighted to the known population proportions for age, gender, Government Office Region, working status and social grade.
The May survey was also conducted via telephone on the Ipsos MORI CATI Omnibus survey. A total of 1,983 people were interviewed between 1st and 10th May 2020. Where questions were repeated in the July survey, these have been included in the report against the May data for comparison, with significant differences commented upon.

The author(s)

  • Toby Piachaud Public Affairs
  • Joanna Barry Public Affairs
  • Kate Duxbury Public Affairs

More insights about Health

Society