More Than 1 in 4 Latino and Black Households With Children Are Experiencing More Hardships During COVID-19

This brief is a joint publication from Child Trends and the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of families experiencing hardships across the country has risen dramatically, with a disproportionate impact on Latino* and Black communities. Twenty-nine percent of Latino and 31 percent of Black households with children are experiencing three or more co-occurring economic and health-related hardships as a result of the pandemic, according to recent data. This is nearly twice the rate among Asian and White households with children (13% and 16%, respectively).

Disparities in experiencing multiple, co-occurring hardships were not fully explained by racial and ethnic differences in income in our analysis; Hispanic and Black low-income families also experienced multiple hardships at greater rates than Asian and White low-income families. These racial and ethnic disparities in the experience of multiple co-occurring hardships underline the structural inequities embedded in our nation’s institutions, as well as policies that continue to make it difficult for Latino and Black families to achieve sufficient economic stability to weather unexpected income disruption, such as a job loss or medical emergency.

For the analysis presented in this brief, we used nationally representative data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, which has tracked the well-being of U.S. households during the pandemic, to examine seven types of hardships: unemployment, difficulty paying expenses, not being caught up on rent or mortgage, food insecurity, physical health problems, symptoms of anxiety or depression, and lack of health insurance. They analyzed these reports of hardships across Latino, Black, Asian, and White households with children—first across all income groups and then among households with low incomes, defined as those with self-reported pre-tax 2019 incomes of less than $50,000.

Key Findings:

  • Latino and Black households with children experienced three or more hardships at twice the rate of Asian and White child households. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic and 31 percent of Black households with children have experienced three or more hardships, compared to 13 percent of Asian and 16 percent of White households with children.
  • Seven percent of Hispanic and Black households with children experienced five or more hardships, compared to 2 percent of Asian and 3 percent of White child households.
  • By contrast, just under half of Asian and White households with children (45% and 43%, respectively) reported experiencing none of the hardships included in our analyses, compared to nearly one quarter of Latino and Black households (24% for both groups).
  • Among lower-income households with children, reports of experiencing multiple hardships were more common across all racial/ethnic groups. The rates at which lower-income households with children experienced zero hardships was less than half that of the full sample. Still, racial/ethnic differences in the rates of multiple hardships were present, although smaller than in the full sample. Lower-income Asian households with children were most likely to experience one to two hardships. Roughly 35 and 38 percent of low-income Hispanic and Black child households, respectively, experienced three to four hardships, compared to 30 percent of low-income Asian and 32 percent of White child households. About 15 percent of Latino and Black low-income households with children experienced five or more hardships, compared to just 6 percent of Asian and 10 percent of White child households with low incomes.

Population: African American/Black, and Latinx/Hispanic

Links:

  • Read the full brief More Than 1 in 4 Latino and Black Households With Children Are Experiencing More Hardships During COVID-19 on Child Trends.
  • Learn more about Child Trends.
  • Learn more about the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families.
  • Check out the article Social Determinants of Health–Related Needs During COVID-19 Among Low-Income Households With Children from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Learn more about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Date: 2021

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