Thursday, December 2, 2021

LGBTQ + people more likely to lose income during the pandemic

In a first-of-its-kind survey by the US Census Bureau, nearly a quarter of LGBTQ + people reported income loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, higher than non-LGBTQ + respondents.

US unemployment and income statistics do not specifically measure the LGBTQ + experience. In July of this year, the US Census Bureau collected information on sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time as part of its Household Heart Rate Survey. In four surveys on emotional and economic well-being, LGBTQ + respondents reported higher rates of food insecurity, anxiety and depression than non-LGBTQ + people.

LGBTQ + respondents were almost twice as likely to report food insecurity. The gap in mental health and anxiety was even wider.

More on the COVID-19 pandemic

The survey provides a much needed insight into how the LGBTQ + community has done well economically during the pandemic. Earlier research from the Human Rights Campaign and Public Television Research has shown that LGBTQ + people are more likely to find themselves unemployed during the first few months of the crisis. In a May 2020 study of 4,000 people, 17% of respondents lost their jobs, making them 23% more likely than non-LGBTQ + participants. The people of color surveyed were more likely to lose their jobs during this time than the white respondents.

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The 2020 census also allowed respondents for the first time to indicate that they are part of a same-sex couple. The Bureau found that there are about 1 million same-sex couples living in the United States. Same-sex married couples are more likely to have higher education than partners of the opposite sex. However, these numbers do not cover all LGBTQ + people.

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