Over 70% Latino Households Report Financial Difficulties Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Latino households suffer disproportionate financial strain amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a new report released this week, more than 70 percent of Latinos are experiencing money problems during the pandemic compared to white families.
The report also showed that Latino, Black, and Native American households across the country are already feeling the brunt of the outbreak's economic fallout. It comes as the U.S. nears a grim milestone of 200,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Based on the series of reports called "The Impact of Coronavirus," almost half of the country's households in the four largest cities reported facing serious financial problems amid the pandemic.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the NPR conducted a five-part polling series of more than 3,400 adults in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and New York between July and August.
Researchers asked residents about their finances, employment, housing, health care, transportation, caregiving, and well-being amid the pandemic.
The survey showed that approximately 17 percent of households reported missing or having a delay in paying major bills to ensure everyone had enough to eat. Sixteen percent reported serious problems affording food, while seven percent reported serious problems of not having food to eat every day.
The poll also revealed that while a minority of white households reported serious financial problems, the majority of Latino, Black, and Native American households reported the same issues, as per USA Today.
Around 37 percent of Asian and 36 percent of white families report facing severe financial problems, compared to 72 percent of Latino households, 60 percent of Black households, and 55 percent of Native American households.
"The economic and health ramifications of COVID-19 are continuing to hit Latino, Native American, and Black families the hardest," Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in a statement.
"This poll is the latest evidence that the ability to protect your family or yourself during the pandemic is too significant. And unconscionable degree determined by the color of skin and how much money you have," he added.
Based on the survey, more than six in ten Latino families reported having an adult household member lost their job, been furloughed, or had wages or hours reduced since the outbreak started. More than four in ten Black and Native American households also said they experience the same.
There are also considerable numbers of Latino, Black, and Native American households unable to get medical care for serious problems when they need it that often results in negative health consequences.
In terms of internet connectivity issues, more than four in ten Latino and Black households and almost half of Native American families reported having severe problems. This internet connection problem burdens them from doing their job or schoolwork or does not have a high-speed internet connection at home.
The trends are generally consistent across the four cities, but in Los Angeles and New York, Latino households have the highest rates of severe financial issues. In Houston and Chicago, Black households have the highest rates of serious financial difficulties.
In Los Angeles, 45 percent of Latino households reported severe problems with affording food. More than a third of Latino households in New York reported serious problems affording food and missing or delaying paying major bills.
In Chicago, nearly a third of Black households had serious problems affording food than about a fifth of Latino households and just one in 20 white households.
Houston has the highest rate of Black households reporting serious financial problems. In that city, 81 percent of Black households had serious financial problems, compared to 77 percent of Latino households and 34 percent of white households.
Robert J. Blendon, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-director of the survey, said: "Before federal coronavirus support programs even expired, we find millions of people with very serious problems with their finances, healthcare, and with caring for children."
"Though we want to believe we are all in this together, findings show problems heavily concentrated in Latino, Black, and Native American communities," he added.
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