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Arizona in the time of COVID-19 – Household Expenses

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting loss of income has put a real strain on the ability for many households in Arizona to pay for their usual expenses. These include but are not limited to food, rent or mortgage payments, car payments, medical expenses, and student loans. According to analysis of the Household Pulse Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 1 in 3 Arizona households (more than 1.7 million) found paying for usual household expenses “somewhat” or “very” difficult in the week prior to the survey. Survey responses further demonstrate that affording usual household expenses is especially challenging for households of color, households with children, and households with lower incomes.

Household expenses and race

According to recent estimates, Black, Latinx, and households of other or multiple races (including American Indian) in Arizona are far more likely to face challenges in paying for usual household expenses. The share of households reporting difficulty among Black households is twice that of White households; and for Latinx households or where other or multiple races are reported (including American Indian), significantly higher than White peers.

Household expenses and the presence of children

Hardship during the pandemic, including the inability to afford usual household expenses, is particularly felt by households with children. More than 4 in 10 households with children reported difficulty in paying for usual household expenses.

Household expenses and income

Households with lower incomes (from 2019) are significantly more likely to face challenges in paying for household expenses. Nearly half of adults indicating difficulty in paying for household expenses had household income less than $50,000 in 2019.

About the data

The Household Pulse Survey, launched by the U.S. Census Bureau in April 2020, provides nearly real-time weekly data on how COVID-19 is impacting the lives and livelihoods of Americans. Along with stories from those impacted, administrative data, and other surveys, it is an important tool to demonstrate the need and craft policy solutions for Arizonans. The AZCenter will be updating this entry monthly to reflect new data collected. For more information on the Household Pulse Survey, visit this website. For more national data, or to see how Arizona compares to other states regarding hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the tracker published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 

Read more about Arizona in the time of COVID-19

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