Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Epidemic on the Socio-Economic Status of Rural Communities: Study in Udon Thani Province of Thailand

Ray-Wat Sirinikorn, Thanakorn Khamharnpol, Chutikan Sakphisutthikul


This study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 epidemic on socio-economic status of rural communities in the Udon Thani province of Thailand. Method: A total of 1050 participants were approached to partake in a cross-sectional online survey and share their experiences regarding the ongoing epidemic. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: Our analysis revealed that the epidemic has significantly affected local people psychologically, leading to socio-economic vulnerability. Notably, we find that local households are worried about their income losses regardless of their socio-economic status (42–47%), level of income (32–43%) and industry involvement (38–41%). However, as the income increases, the level of stress decreases. The results show that government transfer payment is a significant factor in reducing stress due to its reliable and uninterrupted income flow. Contrary to our proposition, the epidemic stress was less observed, which might be because of people’s trust in the government and effective anti-epidemic countermeasures to contain the disease. Conclusion: This study finds that COVID-19 has a significant impact on local people’s health, psychology and income. This study is one of the first to provide empirical evidence regarding the early health and socioeconomic effects of COVID-19 at the household level in rural communities, which are critical in devising policies to ease the outbreak and prevent further losses at the local community level.


Keywords: impact assessment, COVID-19 epidemic, rural community, Udon Thani province.

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