Press Release Economic Crisis and Recovery Housing Inequality Poverty United States

New Analysis Shows Pandemic Hardships Easing, But Structural Inequities Remain

May 12, 2021

Contact: Karen Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington DC — A new analysis released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) tracks housing and food insecurity by race, ethnicity, and family type between April 2020 and March 2021 using the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. The analysis shows that the amount of hardship changed over time, but those bearing the weight of those hardships have not.

Food and Housing Hardship Over the COVID-19 Recession, by researcher Simran Kalkat and economist Julie Yixia Cai, shows that Black and Hispanic survey respondents were more than twice as likely to experience housing hardships than white households.

Slightly over 20 percent of Black households and 18 percent of Hispanic households reported having food hardship, 13 and 10 percentage points higher than white households, respectively.

The incidence of food insecurity was nearly 70 percent higher for households with children than those without. Food insecurity was about 110 percent higher for unmarried parents as compared to households with married parents.

Shortly after the American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11, 2021, food insecurity dropped by 18 percent across the board. The largest difference was found in Black households and households with children. Housing insecurity levels begin to taper off by mid-March 2021, and by the end of March, housing insecurity dropped by 18 percent in the overall sample, with a 22 percent drop in Hispanic households.

“There is a need to create a recovery that is equitable and sustained. It should address the structural inequities that are causing a disproportionate amount of pain to Black and Hispanic households and households with children, particularly single-parent households,” said co-author Simran Kalkat.

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