Census says pandemic is punishing families with kids

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that families with children are suffering more heavily from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic than their childless neighbors.

WASHINGTON D.C. – The second round of polling using the Household Pulse Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed that families with children are being hit harder by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey results released May 27 showed that 55 percent of U.S. households with a child under the age of 18 had at least one adult lose employment income since the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March.

By contrast, only 47 percent of all U.S. households and 44 percent of Utah households reported a similar loss of income.

“While the coronavirus is clearly causing concern for many Americans, the data reported in our Household Pulse Survey indicate that there are particular concerns for households with children,” according to Lindsay M. Monte, a statistician in the Social, Economic and Housing Division of the Census Bureau.

Census analysts interpret that heavier impact on families with children to be the result of many parents being obliged to remain home to care for young children after schools were closed in the early weeks of the pandemic.

Along with its usual once-a-decade headcount of residents in America, the U.S. Census Bureau is now using an experimental Household Pulse Survey to collect real-time data on how people’s lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Census Bureau plans to release data on differing topics gathered by its pulse surveys on a weekly basis through July, according to Census communication specialist Jane Callen.

The results of the pulse survey from the week of May 14 to 19 also revealed that parents from households with young children were more likely to report that their loss of income was a permanent situation rather than the result of a temporary lay-off or furlough.

About 10 percent of households both in Utah and nationwide reported concerns about having enough to eat since the pandemic began. But families with children under 18 were nearly twice as likely to have that concern as families without children.

About 25 percent of survey respondents nationwide also reported being less than completely confident of their ability to make rent or mortgage payments in June, compared to about 15 percent of respondents from Utah. Once again, families with young children were about twice as likely to report that concern as those without children under 18 years of age.

Monte explained that invitations to complete the House Pulse Survey during the week of May 14 to 19 were sent via e-mail to nearly 1.3 million U.S. households and 133,000 responded.

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