KFF: Social Distancing Working for Young Adults

April 8, 2020

Despite news images of partying spring breakers, most young adults are taking seriously public health recommendations to slow COVID-19. Survey results from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), reported Monday in this blog post, show 95% of Americans between 18-24 years old reported social distancing behaviors, including canceling or changing travel plans (72%); staying home instead of going to work, school or other regular activities (78%); and canceling plans to attend large gatherings (76%).

A majority of young adults are sheltering in place, though at slightly lower levels than older Americans:

  • 77% of 18-24 year-olds;
  • 79% of 25-44 year-olds;
  • 83% of 45-64 year-olds; and
  • 89% of those ages 65 or older.

At the same time, young adults are experiencing greater stress related to the novel coronavirus than their older counterparts: 58% compared to 49% of 25-44 year olds and 47% of 45-64 year-olds. Seven in ten young adults worry they may be exposed to COVID-19 because they cannot afford to stay home and miss work.