WIN World Survey on Cost of Living

Irish population quick to react to cost of living crisis

The WIN World Survey on Cost of Living shows the proportion struggling in Ireland is close to the global average, but that we have been most likely globally to change our ways, and have already reduced expenses in order to get by.

  1. 30% of all adults in Ireland are struggling to make ends meet, only slightly below the global average, with 25% living comfortably.
  2. The majority of all adults in Ireland (70%) have already reduced their expenses in the past months, the most among all countries globally. 

WIN International, the world’s leading global association in market research and polling (with RED C as the member in Ireland), has published the Annual WIN World Survey – WWS 2022 on the Cost of Living Crisis, exploring the views and beliefs of 29,739 individuals among citizens from 36 countries across the globe.



Financial situation

  1. Just under 1 in 3 (30%) of the population in Ireland claim they are struggling to make ends. With those most likely to be struggling coming from lower economic backgrounds (37%) and the squeezed middle aged 35-54 (37%).
  2. Only a minority of 25% in Ireland feel their current financial situation is comfortable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, older ages & higher social grades are living more comfortably than other groups.
  3. Compared to the global average, Ireland is slightly lower (-6%) and better off when it comes to struggling to make ends meet. Highest level of concern is seen from Argentina with 76% struggling currently. Vietnam has the lowest striving group (14%), thus appearing to be more buffered from the effects of the rise in cost of living.
  4. On living comfortably, Irish is same as the world average, while India & Philippines lead on having the most with just under half living comfortably.


The rising of cost of living

  1. The Irish are seen to be the quickest to react to the crisis, along with the Greeks , with 70% of the residents of each having already reduced their expenses in the past month.
  2. This reduction is noted across all demographic groups in Ireland and highlights the wider impact across society of the financial crisis, even among those who suggest they are balancing the books. Only a minority (9%) do not plan to make any changes to their expenses.
  3. Japan has the smallest proportion (19%) who have already reduced on their expenses, followed by South Korea (26%). South Korea also notes the highest proportion of people who do not plan to make any changes to their spend.


Richard Colwell, CEO of RED C Research and Vice-President of WIN International Association, said:

“The Irish resilience and experience with economic woes are clear to see, with the population reacting the most quickly globally to try and live within our means.  However, a significant divide clearly exists in Ireland, between those who are struggling and those still living comfortably in the current crisis. Any future supports need to be focused on those most in need”



The war between Russia and Ukraine and the pandemic affected all economies worldwide and the cost of living became a crucial factor.

Financial situation

  1. The cost of living has increased due to various factors, including COVID-19 and political and economic crises affecting many countries. Many people are so financially struggled that only 25% of citizens worldwide are living comfortably. People between the ages of 35 and 44 are among the most affected ones, probably because of the costs related to supporting a family. Interestingly, there are also significant differences according to the educational level of respondents: more than half of the interviewed people (54%) who have basic education, or no education have difficulties in paying their bills, while interviewees who have completed higher educational levels (Masters, PHD, etc.) have less difficulties in this regard (25% say they struggle financially). On a country level, Argentina (76%), Lebanon (69%) and Chile (65%) are among the countries with the highest percentage of population expressing financial difficulties.


The rising of cost of living

  1. People around the world have been forced to reduce expenses due to the rising cost of living. In fact, 48% of those surveyed have already reduced some expenses in previous months, with the 45-54 age group being the most affected ones (51%). On the other hand, 19% of the respondents do not plan to make any changes in their monthly budget, a percentage slightly higher among people over 65 years (24%).
  2. Analysing results by employment status, there is no evidence of significant differences: both full-time employees and unemployed have already made a reduction on their expenses or plan to do so (77% and 79%, respectively). However, significant differences are registered within countries: for example, people in Greece and Ireland have already cut their spending (both 70%), while only 19% of citizens in Japan have done so.


Vilma Scarpino, President of WIN International Association, said:

‘This year, for the first time, the WIN World Survey focuses on the financial situation of citizens. The historical time we’re living, affected by the pandemic, the rising of conflicts in many areas of the world, the climate emergency, and insecurities towards the future, forces us to take increasingly more into consideration people’s social and financial wellbeing as well. Research on many different sectors and aspects of life cannot overlook people’s spending possibilities. And it’s not only about finance: the rising costs of living affect people social wellbeing too.

Interestingly, this study highlights more differences between countries than many others do. While there are some common widely accepted stands (e.g., agreement on climate change is high in every country) the financial situation differ significantly between different parts of the world. WWS data might serve therefore, together with other sources, as a starting point for institutions, governments and NGOs to work on improving financial stability.’


Media enquiries:


Richard Colwell, C.E.O., RED C Research

Derek Bell, Project Manager, RED C Research



Elena Crosilla, WIN Coordinator

+39 335.62.07.347





The survey was conducted in 36 countries using CAWI / CATI / F2F/ TAPI /online survey methods.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

A total of 29,739 people were interviewed. See below for sample details. The fieldwork was conducted during October 9th and December 10th, 2022. 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.

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Click here to download Cost of Living Irish Summary

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