Irish Perceptions of their Health Falls Below Global Standards

  1. Only 67% in Ireland consider themselves to be healthy, significantly lower than the global average, with ongoing declines since 2020 driven by those in older age groups.
  2. Ireland’s level of perceived fitness, weight, and good sleep are all lower than the global average, with weight and fitness declining YoY.
  3. While majority do rate their Stress levels (68%) as very/quite good, 1 in 3 claim to feel stressed very/fairly often, with family and lack of money being the major sources of stress.

The Worldwide Independent Network of MR (WIN), the world’s leading independent association in market research and polling, of which RED C is the Irish member, today reveals the Annual WIN World Survey, exploring the views on people’s health of over 33,000 people in 39 countries across the globe.



Weakening health perception among Irish adults

  1. The percentage of the population who perceive themselves as very healthy or healthy has declined steadily in Ireland since 2020.  In 2024, this figure declines to 67%, with reductions observed across all demographic groups but driven by those in over 55 year age groups, those in more upmarket ABC1 social class (-6%) and residents of Munster (-8%). Globally, Ireland trails behind in health ratings.
  2. When considering individual health aspects, the proportion of individuals rating their fitness, weight, and sleep as very/quite good is low, with Fitness at 48%, Weight at 55%, and Sleeping at 58%, showing notable declines compared to the previous year. However, mental health/stress perception remains stronger at 68%.
  3. Ireland’s perception of fitness, weight, and sleep falls below global standards, while mental health/stress perception among Irish adults is slightly stronger compared to most other countries.

One-third of Irish individuals claim to experience stress very or fairly often.

  1. Positively Ireland’s stress level have improved since 2022, and vs is fairly close to standard vs the global average, but 1 in 3 do claim to feel stressed very/fairly often.
  2. Feeling stressed very/fairly frequently is evidently higher in Ireland among those aged under 55 years.


Family and financial constraints are primary stressors for Irish adults, with employment-related factors being less significant.

  1. 1 in 4 say that family (26%) and lack of money (24%) are the cause of stress in their life.
  2. While people’s job is the most common reason for stress globally (23%), it is less prevalent in Ireland (15%). Even stress due to unemployment (2% vs 7% globally) is lower among Irish than most other countries.
  3. Health being a reason for stress (11% vs 9% globally) is higher amidst the weak perception in Ireland. Changes in lives also impact Irish (10% vs 6% globally) more than Global standards.

 Richard Colwell, CEO of RED C Research, said:

“There must be some concern that people in Ireland are seeing their general health to be in decline since the onset of the Covid Pandemic, particularly among those in older age groups.  This also matches a decline seen globally that governments will need to start thinking about.  Significant drops  in people’s perceptions of their weight and fitness seen this year could lead to further pressure on health services


  1.  Mapping Health Scores around the World
    The perception of health levels around the world is positive, with 57% feeling healthy, and 17% very healthy. Numbers, however, are still slightly below the pre-pandemic level when a total of 76% globally reported to feel healthy or very healthy.While the previous wave showed that the country with the highest reported levels of poor health was Poland (49% of respondents), this year is Nigeria with 50% of people reporting poor health. Overall, Africa emerges to be the region with poorest perceived health (40%), while in APAC only 17% of people report the same perception.
  2.  Increased Stress Level
    In the previous survey wave, 40% of individuals worldwide rated their overall stress levels as either “quite poor” or “very poor”. This year, WIN asked respondents about their stress levels in their daily lives. The results revealed that only 6% never experience stress, while 16% almost never do, leaving 79% of individuals experiencing stress to varying degrees of severity. People feeling most stressed daily are those working full time (82%), and students (83%).By geography, the most “relaxed” part of the world is APAC with 26% never or almost never feeling stressed. On the other hand, the other regions share very similar percentages with only between 19% (Americas, MENA) and 20% (Europe, Africa) never or almost never feeling stressed.
  3. Work and Money Main Reasons for Stress
    Work emerges as the main reason for people feeling stressed globally (24%). Men particularly worry about this area of life, with 27% reporting that their job is what brings them stress, compared to 20% of women. Income and lack of money is another cause for concern (21%), with both men and women feeling equally stressed. On the other hand, women’s level of stress around family (the third area reported as bringing most stress daily) are much higher 22% versus 15% for men.The findings vary considerably depending on age. Those between 25 and 44 are the most stressed (29%) about their job, but still 21% of people between 55 and 64 maintain this feeling. Only for over 65 the number drops drastically to 9%. On the other hand, family becomes a concern particularly for those over 65 with 26% of them reporting to feel stressed about this area, compared to 19 percent of those between 35 and 54, and 15% of people aged 25 to 34.Geographically, lack of money is the most shared cause of stress with 26% in Africa and 25% in the Americas and APAC. Europe is most concerned about health and life changes, while 14% in the MENA region are stressed by wars around the world, and 12% about their families.

Vilma Scarpino, President of WIN International Association, said:

“The results of the 2024 Annual WIN World Survey show interesting, different nuances about health and mental health globally. The economic scenario and the political landscape are inevitably affecting people’s lives and stress levels, so it’s more important than ever to learn and be aware of people’s sentiments, and we’re here to do that.”


Media enquiries:


Richard Colwell, CEO , RED C Research

Derek Bell, Associate Director, RED C Research


[email protected]


Elena Crosilla, WIN Coordinator

+39 335.62.07.347

E-mail: [email protected]



The survey was conducted in 39 countries using CAWI / CATI / F2F/ TAPI /online survey methods.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

A total of 33,866 people were interviewed. See below for sample details. The fieldwork was conducted in December 2023 and January 2024. The margin of error for the survey is between 4.4 and 2.5 at 95% confidence level.    The global average has been computed according to the covered adult population of the surveyed countries.

About WIN:

The Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WIN) is a global network conducting market research and opinion polls in every continent.

Our assets

  • Thought leadership: access to a group of the most prominent experts and business entrepreneurs in Market Research, Polling and Consultancy
  • Flexibility: tailor-made global and local solutions to meet clients’ needs
  • Innovation: access to the latest strategic consultancy, tool development and branded solutions
  • Local experts: access to a network of experts that truly understand the local culture, market and business needs.
  • Trust: highest quality of talented members in all countries covered

 In the years, WIN has demonstrated wide competences and ability to conduct multi-country surveys following the highest standards requested by the market. The accumulated expertise of the Association is formidable: among others, researched themes are gender equality and young people, communication and media research, and brand studies.

About RED C:

RED C are premier providers of research-based consultancy services, with offices in Dublin and London. Founded in Dublin in 2003, we have been providing high quality research and polling based consultancy services to business, communities and government both nationally and internationally for many years.  We are part of the Business Post group house of brands, delivering insight through data, journalism, analysis and storytelling.  We help brands grow by clearly understanding human needs and behaviour.

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