Blacks, Hispanics more than twice as likely to experience financial pain from COVID-19 | The Numbers Racket

Neashia Johnson scoops spaghetti into a takeout container. (Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk of The Pittsburgh Current)

A September survey by the  Pew Research Center found that Black and Hispanic Americans are more than twice as likely to experience financial pain from the COVID-19 pandemic than their white counterparts.

The survey found that overall, one-in-four U.S. adults have had trouble paying their bills since the outbreak began, a third have dipped into their savings or retirement accounts, and about one-in-six have had to borrow money from friends or family members or got food from a food bank. 

Let’s take a look: 

Race & Ethnicity

Here’s a breakdown of how each group fared since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in February: 

Had trouble paying bills …

White: 18 percent

Black: 43 percent

Hispanic: 37 percent

Asian: 23 percent 

Had problems paying the mortgage …

White: 11 percent

Black: 28 percent

Hispanic: 26 percent

Asian: 15 percent

Had trouble paying for medical care …

White: 9 percent

Black: 18 percent

Hispanic: 17 percent

Asian: 8 percent

Lost health insurance …

White: 3 percent

Black: 9 percent

Hispanic: 8 percent

Asian: 4 percent

Income Level

The survey found that 46 percent of low-income adults had trouble paying their bills since the pandemic started. Less than half of middle-income adults say the same. Five percent of upper-income adults said they had trouble paying their bills since the pandemic started. 

Those surveyed who identified as being in the low-income threshold were more than twice as likely to say they experienced financial pain from COVID-19 in three of the four categories. 

Getting food from a food bank/organization …

Low income: 35 percent

Middle income: 12 percent

Upper income: 1 percent

Had problems paying rent/mortgage …

Low income: 32 percent

Middle income: 11 percent

Upper income: 3 percent

Adults under 30 are less likely to return to their pre-COVID occupations than adults ages 30-64.

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.