War in Ukraine and Rising Costs are Top Concerns in 2022 for 7 in 10 People

4 in 10 expect to be financially worse off by the end of the year

Just 7% say rising house prices are their biggest concern despite 8.4% rise on 2021 prices

The war in Ukraine and the rising costs of goods and services, particularly energy, are taking their toll, with 70% of people ranking at least one of these as their number one concern in 2022, while just 2 in 10 people believe they will be better off by the end of the year, according to the latest research released by Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC (Aviva).

The insurer commissioned a nationwide survey1 of 1,200 adults which found that concerns around the pandemic as well as rising house and rental prices were a priority for significantly less people than concerns over the current geopolitical situation or rising inflation.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • The war in Ukraine is the number one concern for most people at 25%
  • 24% say inflation is their number one concern, followed by rising energy costs at 20%
  • Only 13% say the pandemic is now their chief concern
  • For one third of those aged over 55, war is their greatest concern, at 33% compared to the national average of 25%
  • More men than women expect to be financially worse off by the end of the year - 43% as opposed to 34%

Speaking of the findings, Eoin Kennedy, Aviva commented: “Just 13% say the pandemic is what’s troubling them most this year, which shows how far things have improved in relation to Covid-19. Had we asked that question twelve months or even six months ago, I’m sure the percentage would have been a lot higher.

However, while the pandemic has fallen to fourth place in our list of concerns this year after being front and centre in our minds for the last two years, it seems to have been swiftly replaced by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which is the primary concern for the majority of people, and by inflation and energy costs, which have also entered the fray.

Eoin Kennedy, Aviva


The Aviva survey found that while rising house prices and rent costs were less of a concern overall than might be expected, they were still the chief concern among certain age groups. 

“With average national house prices increasing by 8.4%2 on Q1 last year it’s perhaps unsurprising that rising house prices are a very big concern for young people, with 30% of those aged 18-24 listing this as their top worry.  For older age groups – many of whom will already be on the property ladder – rising house prices are less of an issue, with only 7% of the general public listing the increase in house prices as their biggest concern,” continued Eoin Kennedy.

Worse Off

The survey also looked at attitudes towards personal finance and wealth, and whether people expect to be financially better or worse off by the end of the year.

“The survey reveals that almost 4 in 10 people believe they will be financially worse off by the end of this year. This is a significant proportion of people – and highlights just how many people are feeling under financial pressure right now. From food prices to fuel prices, there seems to be little relief on the horizon in terms of rising costs.

“On the brighter side, over a third of those in the 25-34 and the 35–44-year age groups expect things to improve financially for them this year – which is more than the national average at 25%”, concluded Eoin Kennedy.

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Life and Pension products are underwritten by Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC.