The States Struggling the Most During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Households in Louisiana and Mississippi are among those that are facing the greatest social and economic impact in recent weeks during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Data released Wednesday through the bureau’s biweekly Household Pulse Survey shows that residents in those states have been seeing high rates of food scarcity, housing insecurity and financial issues in recent weeks. The survey is designed to collect data on how people’s lives have been impacted by the pandemic, according to a news release, and the most recent information came from responses collected Dec. 9-21.

[MORE: Minimum Wage by State]

More than 22% of Louisiana respondents said there was either sometimes or often not enough to eat in their household over the past seven days, while nearly 19% of those surveyed in Mississippi voiced this issue of food scarcity. Both states also had the highest rates of respondents who are not current on rent or mortgage payments, or who have either slight or no confidence that their household can make next month’s housing payments on time.

Households in Mississippi and Louisiana are also facing broader financial issues in recent weeks. More than 46% of those surveyed in Mississippi — and nearly 45% in Louisiana — are living in households where it has been either somewhat or very difficult to pay for usual household expenses during the pandemic, according to the bureau’s most recent data. Residents in both states also had similarly high rates in previous weeks.

Nearly 37% of Mississippi respondents said they expect someone in their household to have a loss of job income in the next four weeks. November employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Louisiana and Mississippi had moderate-to-high jobless rates that month.

Amid a pandemic that has impacted people all over the country and around the world, residents in other states are suffering too, according to the Census Bureau. Households in Nevada, New Mexico and Texas also struggled with normal household expenses in recent weeks. Nevada and New Mexico also had high rates of respondents who anticipate an upcoming loss in employment income for someone in their household.

Food insecurity is also impacting residents in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. And in Oregon and New Jersey, more than 90% of respondents from each state say at least one adult has had post-secondary education plans changed in some significant way or canceled during the pandemic.

The Census Bureau will continue to collect data on how Americans are managing during the crisis. The bureau on Wednesday announced an extension of the Household Pulse Survey’s current third phase, which will include a revised questionnaire with questions about COVID-19 vaccines and stimulus payments.

More from U.S. News

Oregon, Washington See Biggest Increases in Median Household Income, Census Data Shows

Vermont, Maine See Largest Increases in Older Population, Census Data Shows

Census Estimates Show Fastest-Growing States in 2020

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