The corona situation in Konstanz: survey of residents

Special survey of the “Konstanzer Bürgerbefragung” about the implications the coronavirus has on the daily life of Konstanz residents

How have the coronavirus limitations impacted life in Konstanz? A special survey led by sociologist Professor Thomas Hinz from the University of Konstanz answers this question. The findings of the representative study show: Although nearly half of all employed persons is now working from home, the general work situation has not changed for 60 percent of the Konstanz residents interviewed. Severely affected, however, are the self-employed and marginally employed: One out of two self-employed persons reports serious limitations; one out of five had to shut down their business. In two thirds of these cases, reserves will last only for a maximum of two months. 48 percent of the marginally employed persons questioned can no longer work at all and do not receive continued pay. The study also shows that the vast majority in Konstanz accepts and adheres to the limitations to public life. The results of the ongoing survey are published online (in German) and are regularly updated.

“The aim of our survey is to put the current exceptional social situation into figures. We want to help decision-makers in Konstanz to correctly assess the crisis situation and successfully manage it”, explains Thomas Hinz the reasons for the current study. The study is based on feedback from currently 1,460 persons, a random sample of Konstanz residents. “The willingness to participate in the survey was unusually high. The high response rate reflects the fact that people in Konstanz are very concerned about this topic and they wish to contribute to mastering the situation”, says Konstanz sociologist Franziska Spanner, member of the research team.

Limitations largely accepted

The vast majority of the Konstanz residents questioned think the far-reaching limitations to public and private life are justified and they adhere to them. More than 90 percent accept the limitation of social contacts, event bans, and the closure of schools, child-care facilities and other public institutions as well as working from home. A little lower is the acceptance rate of the border closure between Konstanz and Kreuzlingen: nine percent think it is not justified, another 14 percent assess it as only partially justified.

“It is little surprising that the restrictions on social contacts are perceived as the most problematic, especially regarding private visits and the ban on seeing the grandparents”, Franziska Spanner concludes. Around 40 percent of the families with children who have to be taken care of at home, report significant stress caused by the closure of schools and childcare facilities.

“Despite the serious restrictions, we also see positive consequences of this disruption of the normal conditions: For example, people showing more consideration for each other, helping each other or families moving closer together”, explains Franziska Spanner: During the crisis, around half of those surveyed are helping relatives who belong to the risk groups. 41 percent of those surveyed support local businesses by using their delivery options (and not those of cross-regional internet providers). Yet, one in four makes larger supply purchases.

Childcare at home

A fifth of the interviewed persons have to supervise children at home due to the closure of schools and childcare facilities. In around two thirds of these families, both partners share childcare. In families with only one partner taking care of the children, it is mostly women who do so: 16 percent of the men questioned state that their partner looks after the children alone. Only three percent of women say this about their partner. The majority, around 70 percent of those surveyed who supervise their children, have coped well with the situation so far. However, taking care of children significantly complicates working from home for 43 percent.

About the Konstanz survey

The survey “Konstanzer Bürgerbefragung” is a long-term study headed by Professor Thomas Hinz, professor of empirical social research with a focus on survey research at the University of Konstanz. Every year, a random sample of Konstanz residents is asked about decisive factors of their life situation, including special focus topics. The current survey is an additional survey due to the restrictions to public life caused by the coronavirus.

Key facts:

  • Additional survey in the context of the “Konstanzer Bürgerbefragung” on the situation of residents in Konstanz during the corona time.
  • Headed by: Professor Thomas Hinz, professor of empirical social research with a focus on survey research at the University of Konstanz
  • Representative and ongoing study with currently 1,460 participants (51 percent women, average age 48; 41 work full-time and 18 percent part-time, ten percent are marginally employed. 30 percent do not work, including 60 percent students and 13 in retirement).
  • The survey is based on a random sample of registered citizens in Konstanz aged 18 and above.
  • The results are published online (in German) and are regularly updated.