ALMOST half of the Irish population say their lives have been improved since the Covid-19 crisis began, a new study has shown.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 51% of women and 38% of men feel as though some aspects of their lives have changed for the better since during the pandemic.
Spending quality time with family, and the ability to save more money are cited as two of the main benefits of the pandemic and lockdown.
People also noted that they have more free time for hobbies.
This is in spite of the fact that over a third of people say they feel more downhearted due to the pandemic than they did during the economic recession of the just over a decade ago.
The majority of those who feel as if their lives have changed for the better are in lower age groups, with 58.3% of those aged 18-34 reporting positive changes.
This figure drops to just 15.9% for the over-70 bracket.
While more women were likely to report positive changes to their lives during the pandemic, statistics show that women were also more likely to report feeling downhearted, with 15% of all those surveyed saying they feel depressed all or most of the time, compared with just 7.3% of men.
35% of respondents rated their current life satisfaction as 'low'. This compares to 29.6% in April, and is in stark contrast to just 8.7% in 2018 prior to the pandemic.
The survey also found that the majority of us believe that it could be one or two years before life return to 'normal' again.
Fewer than 7% of us think that the Covid-19 crisis will be solved within the next six months.
Meanwhile, 4% believe that life will never return to normal.