Everything you ever wanted to know about passions - Catawiki unveils new EU wide study

Catawiki - Europe’s leading online auction marketplace for special objects - has today announced the results of their YouGov commissioned survey which counts 6,000 respondents and takes a deep dive into the zeitgeist of passions across five key European nations; France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Belgium.

The passions surveyed are a cauldron of different styles, cultures and crafts - from fashion and contemporary art, to collectables, classic cars and natural history. Whether it’s about expressing our identities, escaping the stresses of modern life or simply passing the time - passions are the great loves that define who we are.

Catawiki CEO Ravi Vora says: “As one of Europe's leading marketplaces for special objects we connect people with their passions everyday. This new research confirms why passions are at the heart of everything we do at Catawiki - they make us happier and enable us to live life more vividly.”

Passions, Passions, Passions

The survey reveals people’s lives are filled with multiple different passions - with four being the average number of passions per person in all 5 countries. Italians have the biggest number of passions, followed by Belgium. The top 5 most popular passions across all surveyed countries are: books, technology and computers, interiors and decorations, fashion, and photography.

Passions & Well-being

There is a deep sense that investing additional time and energy in our passions makes for a more fulfilled and carefree life. The research shows that most people are happiest when busy with their passions and that many forget about time when exercising their passion. 70% of Italians and 60% of French respondents claim they are the happiest when consumed by their passion and close to 60% of Germans lose track of time when engaging with their passion. As such - half of the respondents claim they engage at least once a week in an activity related to their beloved hobby. In France passions are also synonymous with the expression of identity - with 1 in 2 confirming that it allows them to better express who they are and establish their personality within society.

Passions & the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed people to spend more time on their passions - on average, twice the amount of respondents said they spent more time instead of less time on their passions - and 1 in 5 respondents has sought joy in discovering a new pastime. With interior and decorations being part of the most popular passions across all five countries it is evident that the pandemic has changed our relationships with our homes for good - inspiring many people to create something beautiful at home. 

Catawiki’s CEO Ravi Vora continues: “Covid-19 has clearly brought us closer to the things we love, as well as our homes, with online interior and decoration auctions booming at Catawiki. The universal importance of passions in making the world more interesting has never been more evident.”

Catawiki’s Design Expert Federica van Adrichem explains more: “Our Interior auctions grew more than double in 2020. Whether it’s through a mishmash of styles and colours or through bringing a sense of heritage and storytelling into our homes with antiques and collectables - now more than ever we want our spaces to look the part whilst feeling deeply personal. Good interior can make life more productive, playful and happier - and luckily the online interior scene is currently fizzing with ideas.”

Passions & Money

When it comes to spending money - passions play an important role in making people less money-conscious and more opulent with their spending. On average Europeans spend over 1200€ yearly on their passion with France topping the list at 1600€. Moreover, when asked what the highest amount ever spent on a passion at once was - the average climbed to 1680€, with Germany topping the list at 2500€ - a testament to how individuals lose themselves when consumed by something they love dearly.

Passions & Origins

The results take a detailed look at the origins of individuals' passions, revealing a split between nature or nurture as factors. Belgians are most likely to be influenced by family and friends when forming new passions, similarly for Germans. Although on average Germans have fewer passions in their lives, when they find one they love they put their heart into it and usually follow it for at least half of their life. Younger individuals were significantly more likely to be introduced to a new hobby through pop culture figures such as influencers and celebrities. Meanwhile, 41% of French people and 49% of Italians say their passion has always been there.

Passions & Guilty Pleasures

The survey results suggest that 1 in 4 French and Dutch individuals consider their passion to be an indulgent guilty pleasure that’s not for sharing. Meanwhile Italians are the least inclined to consider their passion a guilty pleasure - they would rather share it with others and talk about why it’s near-and-dear to their heart. 

Notes to editors

*Source: Study conducted by YouGov on behalf of Catawiki in August 2021. 6000 respondents representative of 18+ General Population across five countries: (approx) Germany (n=2000), France (n=1000), Italy (n=1000), Netherlands (n=1000), Belgium (n=1000). The survey was carried out online. The Data has been weighted in order to reflect the general population of each country.