Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Social cohesion in a pandemic era

Results of a longitudinal survey with three survey waves conducted in Germany in 2020

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
6 pages, PDF


Free of charge


This is the English summary of our study. The full text is available in German only. 

The present study, examining social cohesion in Germany throughout 2020, involved conducting telephone interviews of 611 people three times throughout the course of the year: in February and March, May and June, and in December. 

The study thus follows up on the Social Cohesion in Germany 2020 study and marks a continuation of this data series. Its results show that social cohesion in Germany has remained broadly resilient and stable in 2020. However, the study also shows that fears about the future increased across society in the second half of the year, that is, from June to December. Respondents facing precarious economic circumstances in particular reported worrying more intensely about their future toward the end of the year. Being concerned about the future is also particularly widespread among young people (under 30). The data for 2020 also suggest that despite an overall robust sense of cohesion, societal divisions have grown during the coronavirus pandemic.

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We measure social cohesion, thus providing a better understanding of current societal trends. We help communities activate their potential in strengthening cohesion and foster partnerships that improve communal life.