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Publication | 10 June 2020

Tracking EU Citizens’ Concerns using Google Search Data - Week 01

Analysing the evolution of EU citizens’ Google searches provides timely insights on their concerns in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic

Week 01
01-07 May 2020

  • Analysing the evolution of EU citizens’ Google searches provides timely insights on their concerns in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.
  • In the midst of the pandemic, health-related searches increased in the whole EU. Europeans began looking for covid-19 symptoms as well as methods to protect themselves.
  • Shortly after, economic-related worries increased, with searches for unemployment benefits and fears of layoffs growing by 35% and 70% respectively from the pre-pandemic period. Reassuringly, the adoption of the SURE instrument to mitigate unemployment risks came timely, at the moment when EU citizens' concerns about the economy were at their highest.
  • At the same time, EU citizens began learning how to cope with the lockdown measures imposed in many EU countries. Starting in March, they began searching for tools to cope with smart working and prolonged social isolation.
  • Latest trends show that, while countries are preparing to lift lockdown measures, worries related to physical health have been overtaken by worries related to mental health. Further, EU citizens are looking into how to take care of themselves (such as doing exercise and improving their nutrition). Searches for expenditure reliefs and state support remain as high as during the peak of the pandemic.
Tracking EU Citizens’ Concerns using Google Search Data - Week 01
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