LGBT households more affected by pandemic economic effects: Census
LGBT households experienced higher rates of food and economic insecurity than their non-LGBT counterparts, reported the Census Bureau in a coronavirus pandemic survey.
The survey looks into things about child care, food security, and household spending. In this case, the survey is reporting on how the pandemic is affecting US households.
The survey was conducted between July 21 and August 2 this year. The agency contacted more than a million households for the survey and received almost 65,000 responses.
LGBT households during the pandemic
The Census’ latest Household Pulse Survey included questions about sexual orientation and gender identity, the first time a population survey sponsored by a federal agency included the latter questions.
The agency reported that, “Overall, about 13.1% of LGBT adults lived in a household where there was sometimes or often not enough to eat in the past seven days, compared to 7.2% of non-LGBT adults.”
“36.6% of LGBT adults lived in a household that had difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the previous seven days, compared to 26.1% of non-LGBT adults,” agency added.
What’s more, 19.8% of LGBT adults live in households where employment had been lost in the past month, the agency reported, as compared to 16.8% of non-LGBT adults with similar experiences.
This survey provides much-needed data on the LGBT group, which has not been previously surveyed by the federal government.
A previous Gallup survey data had shown that 5.6% of American citizens identify as LGBT.
LGBT households severely affected
This is not a surprising finding, according to the Human Rights Campaign, one of the largest LGBT rights group in the country.
Jay Brown, the group’s senior vice president, said the new data highlights what has been always been known: “LGBTQ+ Americans disproportionately bear the brunt of economic hardships from food insecurity to unemployment.”
Speaking to CNN, Brown said the pandemic has exacerbated this disparity as “the LGBTQ+ community is more likely to work in front-line service jobs, have their hours cut, and face housing and employment discrimination.”
Christina DaCosta of the elder LGBTQ advocacy group SAGE, concurred: “We found that folks really had to dip into whatever meager savings they had just to pay the rent or get food.”
The queer element in the Census survey
Meanwhile, Sharita Gruberg with the Center for American Progress said that before this survey, LGBTQ Americans were essentially invisible to government household surveys.
Gruber said: “It’s really hard to know what policy interventions are required if we don’t know what the problem is and what the scale of it is.”
Meanwhile, Mayra Hidalgo Salazar, deputy executive director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, lauded the survey, tweeting it as a “victory.”
“The Task Force has been advocating for this since the ’90s. This is a result of decades of advocacy demanding that LGBTQ people be counted, seen and valued,” Salazar said.
CNN had previously reported in June that the Census Bureau was trying to get questions about sexual orientation and gender identity included in the new surveys, which have been conducted periodically since April 2020.