Survey Finds More Than 3 In 10 Households Used Most If Not All Their Savings During Pandemic

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By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

NPR, Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation collaborated to conduct a survey recently. The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted sectors like health care and finances. Beyond that, housing, well-being, and transportation within the country have also been impacted.

While the infection rate and death rate have been shocking, this survey shines some light on the impact the pandemic has had on American citizens. 46% of families are going through severe financial issues during this pandemic. 31% or, 3 in 10 households have used up all or most of their savings in the 5 months of the pandemic. Here are some other statistics from “The Impact of Coronavirus on Households Across America” survey.


Pandemic and the Financial Crisis

From the survey, it was found that 46% of the respondents had one adult family member losing their business or job. Or they had been furloughed or had their hours or wages reduced. Everyone around the world has felt the financial fallout from the pandemic. But being the most affected country in terms of the virus, the economy too has suffered a lot. The survey found a steep income gradient for our citizens.

54% of households having an annual income of $100,00 or less are facing serious financial troubles. On the other hand, 20% of households having $100,000 or more as their annual income is in serious trouble.

The minority communities also reported their difficulties. 72% of Latinos, 60% of the Black community, and 55% of Native American families are under harsh situations. This is in contrast to the 37% of Asians and 36% of white families.

This collaborative survey was conducted between 1st July and 3rd August. 3454 American adults took part as the representative sample.

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Dr. Richard Besser told ABC News how while the country is reporting 200,000 deaths a day, the economic consequences cannot be ignored either. He explained how death is only one aspect of this global pandemic. Dr. Besser pointed out how the impact is unevenly distributed right now. “What you see is the same groups that have suffered the most in terms of infection, also suffering the greatest economic burden.” Dr. Besser is the president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Other Highlights 

Housing has been one of the leading causes of concern for American households. 1 out of 5 respondents confirmed that they are struggling to clear their rent and mortgages. Latino and Black families are twice as likely as white households to suffer in this section.


David Williams is a professor from Harvard who studies sociology and race. He commented on how for every dollar a white household has, Latino families have 12 pennies and African Americans have 10 pennies. Hence, the findings of this survey further highlight their plight in the middle of this pandemic. Even the $600 weekly increase to unemployment benefits under the CARES Act has expired on 31st July. Congress is yet to announce any extension or other financial relief.

According to a poll released by Financial Times-Peterson Foundation US Economic Monitor, 89% of American voters want the government to pass another coronavirus pandemic stimulus package.

IMAGE FEATURED: Maksym Yemelyanov

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