Houston and LA Are U.S. Cities Where Pandemic Life Is Hardest
Mar 01, 2021
Houston, Los Angeles and Detroit rank as the major U.S. cities where life under Covid-19 is hardest, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Census Bureau data.
The Census research was carried out between Feb. 3 and Feb. 15. While Houston was hit by storms and blackouts at the end of that period, the power crisis didn’t significantly change its rankings by comparison with the previous survey.
Cities where the labor force has a high capacity to work from home fared the best. In Seattle, Boston, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, more than half the population live in a household where at least one adult has teleworked during the pandemic. That ensured incomes held up better, and so residents were less likely to suffer from hunger or risk losing their homes.
In Houston, by contrast, fewer than four in ten households are in a position where telework is an option. The city ranked worst for the share of residents able to meet daily household expenses -- more than 2.3 million out of a 5.3 population had difficulty doing so -- and also housing payments.
Food insecurity was most acute in Miami, where almost 700,000 people didn’t have enough to eat during the previous week, according to the bureau’s survey. Among people who fell behind on mortgage or rent payments, anxiety about losing their home was highest in Atlanta, where 42% said that eviction or foreclosure by May was likely.
Responses from the following questions in the Census Bureau’s survey conducted between Feb. 3 – Feb 15 were used:
Percentage of adults living in households where it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay for usual household expenses during the coronavirus pandemic
Percentage of adults who expect someone in their household to have a loss in employment income in the next 4 weeks
Percentage of adults in households where there was either sometimes or often not enough to eat in the last 7 days
Percentage of adults who are not current on rent or mortgage payments and who have slight or no confidence that their household can pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time
Percentage of adults living in households not current on rent or mortgage where eviction or foreclosure in the next two months is either very likely or somewhat likely