Buckingham Palace with crowds on the Mall

Hayfever is far more prevalent than it used to be. Data held within AMSR shows that it afflicts three times as many of us nowadays than in the 1970s.

Just 8% of GB adults reported suffering from pollen or hayfever allergy in 1972; by 2019 this had climbed to 25%. The proportion grew steadily from 1972 to reach 17% in 2007, before jumping significantly.

Hayfever sufferers chartSource: Kantar TGI

One might speculate as to the causes of this pronounced increase in suffering. Changes in air quality may be playing their part. Perhaps overall public health or tolerance levels have altered. It’s also possible that greater public awareness and discussion of allergy to pollen has contributed to more people reporting themselves as sufferers.   

The demographic pattern of change in suffering has varied over the last 30 years or so. Proportionally the increase in suffering has been worst for over 55s (20% of whom were afflicted in 2019 compared to 5% in 1987). Meanwhile, although 15-34s were previously the most likely victims, their level of suffering (now 27%) has been surpassed by that of 35-54s (29%).

Hayfever sufferers chart: trend by ageSource: Kantar TGI



TGI (Target Group Index) is a continuous survey which has been carried out in Great Britain since 1969, based on 25,000 adults per annum, who provide information on their use of all major products, brands and services.  Media exposure, attitudinal and demographic data are also included.  Kantar, who own and operate the TGI (Target Group Index) have made major donations of data to AMSR.  Click here to explore the TGI archive within AMSR.

Contributed by Geoff Wicken
Date posted: 20th July 2021


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