DrDuring the first two years of the pandemic, the number of people working from home in the United States tripled, home values soared, and the percentage of people who spent more than a third of their income on rent rose, according to survey results released Thursday. by the US Census Bureau.
Providing the most detailed data yet on how life is changing in the United States under COVID-19, the Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey showed that the proportion of single couples living together rose, Americans became more connected and the proportion of people living together rose. Who are considered multiracial has grown significantly. And in the changes that seemed to directly reflect how the pandemic has upended people’s choices, fewer people have moved, preschool enrollment has fallen and the number of commuters using public transportation has been halved.
The data release provides the first reliable glimpse into life in the United States during the COVID-19 era, as one-year estimates from the 2020 survey were deemed unusable due to problems getting people to answer them during the early months of the pandemic. That left a one-year data gap during a time when the pandemic forced major changes in the way people live their lives.
The survey typically relies on responses from 3.5 million households to provide 11 billion estimates annually on commute times, Internet access, family life, income, education levels, disabilities, military service and employment. The estimates help figure out how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending are distributed.
Response rates improved significantly from 2020 to 2021, said Mark Asiala, head of statistical design for the survey, “so we’re confident with this year’s data.”
While the percentage of married households remained stable over the two years at around 47%, the percentage of households with unmarried couples increased to 7.2% in 2021 from 6.6% in 2019. Together during the pandemic, average family size has shrunk Actually 2.6 to 2.5 people.
The people also stayed in their places. More than 87% of those surveyed lived in the same home a year ago in 2021, compared to 86% in 2019. America is becoming more connected as people become more dependent on distance learning and working from home. The proportion of households with computers increased from 92.9% in 2019 to 95% in 2021, and Internet subscription services grew from 86% to 90% of households.
The jump in people who identify as multiracial — from 3.4% in 2019 to 12.6% in 2021 — and the drop in people who identify as single white — from 72% to 61.2% — coincided with Census Bureau changes in coding ethnicity and Hispanic responses. These modifications were intended to obtain more detailed written answers from the participants. The period between polls also overlapped with social justice protests following the killing of George Floyd, who was black, by a white Minneapolis police officer in 2020, as well as attacks against Asian Americans. Experts say this is likely to lead some multiracial people who may have previously identified as one race to embrace all of their backgrounds instead.
This pattern is strong evidence of the transformation of self-identity. This is not new, said Paul Ong, professor emeritus of urban planning and Asian American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Other research has shown that racial or ethnic identity can change even within a short period of time. For many, it is context and situational. This is especially true for individuals with a multi-ethnic background.”
Estimates show the pandemic-related impact of closed theaters, closed theme parks and restaurants with limited seating on workers in the arts, entertainment and residence businesses. Their numbers fell from 9.7% to 8.2% of the workforce, while other industries remained relatively stable. The percentage of self-employed workers rose to 6.1% from 5.8%.
The demand for housing grew during the two years, with the percentage of vacant housing falling from 12.1% to 10.3%. Median home values increased from $240,500 to $281,400. The proportion of people whose total rent exceeded more than 30% of their income increased from 48.5% to 51%. Historically, tenants are considered burdened with rent if they pay more than that.
“The lack of housing that people can afford compared to the wages they receive is an ever-growing crisis,” said Alison Blair, chief demographic specialist at Data Center New Orleans.
Commuting to work decreased from 27.6 minutes to 25.6 minutes, as the proportion of people working from home during back-to-office and downtime increased from 5.7% in 2019 to nearly 18% in 2021. Nearly half of workers in the District of Columbia worked From home, the highest percentage in the state, while Mississippi recorded the lowest rate at 6.3% over the two years, and the proportion of workers nationwide who use public transportation to get to work rose from 5% to 2.5%, and fears that virus infection rates rose in Buses and subways.
“Work and mobility are central to American life, so the widespread adoption of working from home is a hallmark of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Burroughs, a statistician with the Census Bureau. “With the number of people working primarily from home tripling in just a two-year period, the pandemic has severely affected the mobility landscape in the United States.”
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