Data shows pandemic disproportionately affects Virginia’s Black families

Report finds Black families experience higher rates of economic, food and housing insecurity

Data shows pandemic disproportionately affects Virginia’s Black families
(Source: WISN via CNN)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - New data shows Virginia’s Black families are experiencing greater hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report shows Black families in the commonwealth are experiencing higher rates of food insecurity, housing instability, lack of health care and depression. Released by a privately-owned philanthropy, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the analysis uses data from weekly surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Food security: 13% of Virginia families said they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat. This is an increase of three percent since the pandemic began. For Black families, the rate was nearly double: 25%.
  • Housing stability: 16% of Virginia had little or no confidence they would make their next rent or mortgage payment on time. The national average was 18%. For Virginia’s Black families, the rate was 36%.
  • Health care: 11% of Virginia families did not have health insurance, compared to the national average of 12%.
  • Mental health: 19% of Virginia families felt down, depressed or hopeless, compared to the national average of 21%.

The U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey found 60% of Black families and 58% of Latino families with children lost income since the start of the pandemic. Comparatively, 46% of all Virginia families lost income due to the pandemic.

Voices for Virginia’s Children, a multi-issue child policy and advocacy organization, studies data on Virginia youth and urged lawmakers to prioritize COVID-19 response in 2021. The group suggested using disaggregated data in policymaking, prioritizing the physical and mental health of children and helping families stay financially stable.

For more information about the data and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, click here.

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