Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Generations Differ in Experience of Coronavirus

The great majority of Americans know someone who has had Covid-19. Fully 77 percent of adults personally know someone who has been sick with coronavirus, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll fielded March 3-8. The figure does not vary much by demographic characteristic except for one—generation. 

Counter to what you might expect, the oldest Americans are the ones least likely to know someone who has been sick with Covid-19. Just 54 percent of people aged 75 or older know someone who has come down with coronavirus. At the other extreme, 85 percent of Gen Xers know someone who got Covid—more than any other generation. 

The pattern is the same for coronavirus deaths. Overall, more than one-third of Americans (36 percent) personally know someone who died from coronavirus. The figure ranges from a low of 29 percent among the oldest adults to a high of 41 percent among Gen Xers. 

Know someone   sick with Covid     died of Covid  
Total adults (18-plus)           77%          36%
Gen Z/Millennials (18-39)           80          33
Generation X (40-55)           85          41
Baby Boomers (56-74)           75          39
Silent Generation (75-plus)           54          29

Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll Results, The Biden Administration and Covid-19

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