The U.S. Census Bureau announced this week that each Wednesday it will post online a survey of American households to measure how people are doing during the coronavirus outbreak on a number of issues, including employment, “food security,” and access to health care.
“The survey is intended to provide crucial weekly data to help understand the experiences of American households during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the announcement of the survey said.
The announcement said:
In this initial release, the Household Pulse Survey Interactive Tool provides data for select indicators at national and state levels. National data also are available in table format. We plan subsequent weekly releases through late July, and will include additional estimates for states and the 15 largest metropolitan statistical areas.
For the April 23-May 5 period, invitations to take part in the survey were sent to 1,867,126 households and a total 74,413 responded (63,003 complete interviews and 11,410 partial interviews).
Some of the key findings include:
• Among the population of adults 18 and over, 47 percent either lost employment income or another adult in their household had lost employment income since March 13. Thirty-nine percent of adults expected that they or someone in their household would lose employment income over the next four weeks.
• About ten percent of adults reported that they did not get enough of the food they needed some of the time or often. Another 32 percent report getting enough, but not the kinds of food they needed. On average, households spent $196 a week to buy food at supermarkets, grocery stores, online, and other places to be prepared and eaten at home.
• Adults who responded reported feeling anxious or nervous more than half the days last week or nearly every day 29.7 percent of the time. They reported not being able to stop or control worrying more than half the days last week or nearly every day 22.8 percent of the time.
For measures related to depression, 18.6 percent of adults report feeling down more than half the days or nearly every day last week, and 21.4 percent reported having little interest or pleasure in doing things more than half the days or nearly every day last week.
• 38.7 percent of adults report that over the last four weeks, they delayed getting medical care because of the coronavirus pandemic.
• When asked about the likelihood of being able to pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time, 21.3 precent reported only slight or no confidence in being able to pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time. Another 2.5 percent reported next month’s mortgage is or will be deferred.
• In households with children enrolled in public or private school (K-12), adults spent 13 hours on average on teaching activities during the last seven days.
The Bureau said it partnered with five other federal agencies to develop the Household Pulse Survey, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, USDA Economic Research Service, Department for Housing and Urban Development, and the National Center for Education Statistics.
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