LGBTQ Adults Hit Harder by Food, Economic Insecurities During Pandemic

Last week, the United States Census Bureau dropped its long-awaited (and delayed) redistricting and reapportionment data from the 2020 Census count.

Just a day before the Census data drop, the bureau debuted the latest Household Pulse Survey (HPS), a survey used to give researchers deeper insights into American households during the pandemic.

For the first time, the HPS asked questions about respondents’ sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

The addition of SOGI questions and data, “allows researchers to compare the recent experiences of the LGBT population to other adults,” a statement from the Census Bureau read.

Here’s what it found.

Food Insecurity

According to the survey, LGBTQ adults are nearly twice as likely to experience food insecurity and economic insecurity than their non-LGBTQ counterparts.

In fact, 13.1 percent of LGBTQ adults lived in a household that experienced food insecurity in the past seven days, compared to 7.2 percent among non-LGBTQ adults.

Economic Disparities 

The survey revealed the extent to which LGBTQ people are disproportionately affected by economic struggles.

In addition to a 5.9 percentage point difference in food security, unemployment was also reported at higher rates among LGBTQ adults surveyed.

Nearly 20 percent of LGBTQ adults lived in a household that lost employment income in the past four weeks, compared to 16.8 percent of non-LGBTQ adults, according to the most recent findings.

More than a third of LGBTQ adults (36.6 percent) said they lived in a household that had difficulty paying regular household expenses in the last week, compared to 26 percent of non-LGBTQ adults – a difference of 10.5 percent. 

When respondents were asked about their living arrangements, 8.2 percent of LGBTQ adults said they were “not at all confident” that their household could make their next mortgage or rental payment, compared to 6 percent of non-LGBTQ adults.

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