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WASHINGTON – Latinos are more likely than white, Black and Asian Americans to be worried about economic issues related to coronavirus as the nation continues to deal with the ongoing pandemic, according to a new survey.
The concerns aren’t unfounded: Latinos are more likely than all other racial groups to have a spouse lose their job in the last year or have had a drop in household income in the last year, according to a survey from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project.
A combined 77% of Hispanic Americans say they have been very or somewhat worried about their personal finances in the last six months, the survey showed. That is a more than 10 percentage point disparity from white Americans (62%), Black Americans (65%), and Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (67%), according to the Nationscape Insights analysis, a project of Democracy Fund, UCLA and USA TODAY
Robert Griffin, research director for the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, said that while some may initially think that disparity is caused because Latinos make up higher proportions of young people or have a different median income, that is not the case.
“It’s not just the case that young Americans are doing worse, although that’s true. It’s not just the case of lower income Americans are doing worse when it comes to these things, although that is true. But these … racial disparities, continue to exist even when you break down these things by both age and income,” Griffin said. “Communities of color, and particularly Latino Americans, appear to be hard hit right now.”
The Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project is a large-scale study of the American electorate designed to conduct 500,000 interviews about policies and the presidential candidates during the 2020 election cycle. The poll was conducted July 30 to Aug. 5, with 5,484 Americans surveyed. There is a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
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The Latino and Black communities have disproportionately been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with Black people and Latinos four times more likely than white people to be hospitalized for COVID-19, according to a report published Thursday by the National Urban League. That report also found that Black people are twice as likely as white people to die of the virus.
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According to the Democracy Fund + UCLA survey, 47% of Latinos say that they or their spouse has lost their job in the last 12 months. That more than 20-percentage points more than white Americans (27%). Among Black Americans, that number was 31%, and among Asian and Pacific Islanders, 34%. The survey data also show:
- 56% of Latinos say they experienced a drop in household income in the last 12 months, compared with 43% of white Americans and and 45% of Black Americans. Asian and Pacific Islanders were the only ethnic and racial group that had a majority with 51%.
- Among those who had difficulty making a mortgage payment or paying rent in the last 12 months, Latinos led with 40%. Comparatively, all other racial and ethnic groups were less than 30%: white Americans at 22%; Asian and Pacific Islanders at 27%; and Black Americans at 29%.
When broken down by income levels and age groups, the survey the trend continues with Latinos being hardest hit.
A combined 85% of Latinos who make less than $50,000 said they’ve been very or somewhat worried about their personal finances in the last six months. Comparatively, 71% of white Americans at that income level say they are very or somewhat concerned. Among Black Americans at that income level, that number is 73% and among Asian and Pacific Islanders at that income level it’s 78%.
Griffin underscored that the issues Latinos are facing isn’t due to income differences between these different racial groups.
“Even when you try to isolate for that a bit … you’re still seeing communities of color, and again often Latino Americans, popping out as this group that’s just much harder hit,” he said.
However, Latinos in this income level didn’t lead when asked if they had seen a drop in household income in the last 12 months.
According to the survey, Asian and Pacific Islanders led, with 70% making less than $50,000 said that they had seen a drop. Latinos followed at 66%, then Black Americans at 56% and white Americans at 50%.
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Younger Latinos are also being hit harder than other racial and ethnic groups.
Four out of 5 Latinos under the age of 40 say they have been very or somewhat worried about their personal finances in the last six months. Asian and Pacific Islanders of that age trail by only 2 percentage points (78%), followed by white Americans at 69% and Black Americans at 64%.
The only case where Latinos didn’t see the highest numbers was again among those who said they saw a drop in household income in the last 12 months.
Three out of 5 Asians and Pacific Islanders under the age of 40 said they saw a drop, followed by Latinos at 56%. Forty-nine percent of White Americans and 47% of Black Americans said they experienced a drop in household income.
Both Latinos and Asian and Pacific Islanders under 40 also saw similar numbers among those who said they or their spouse has lost their job in the last 12 months, with both at 54%. Comparatively, 40% of Black Americans in that age group said they did, followed by 36% of white Americans.
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