This year’s Kids Count Data Book, an annual snapshot of the well-being of children, paints a troubling picture of how the coronavirus pandemic affected American families as a whole and by state.
Typically, most of the data used to compile the book is a couple of years old by the time it is analyzed and published. But thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, launched in waves to track the evolving effects of the pandemic, this edition of the publication is unique.
The bottom line is that the public health emergency took a huge toll on families. By practically every measure, the economic, social and educational inequities seen among people of color were brought into sharp relief.
Among the highlights of the 2021 Kids Count Data Book:
- Thirteen percent of adults living with children in the home reported a lack of health insurance. This figure was 23% for Latinos and 15% for Black households.
- Nearly 1 in 4 adults (23%) living in homes with children said they felt down, depressed or hopeless.
- About 22% of households with kids reported having little or no confidence that they could come up with the next month’s rent or mortgage payment. More than a third of Black and Latino households (37% and 35%, respectively) faced this challenge.
- About 1 in 7 households (14%) with kids said they didn’t have enough to eat in the most recent week. The rate of going hungry for Black households was 25% and 20% for Latinos.
The authors also expressed deep concern for the pandemic’s effects on education. It will take years to address the problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic, they said.