Poll Shows Pandemic’s Unequal Financial Impact

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance


That’s the share of U.S. adults who say the COVID-19 pandemic has improved their financial situation and also, as it happens, the percentage who say it has made it worse, according to our latest poll. 

The survey findings, released by The Balance Tuesday, underscore the uneven nature of the country’s recovery from the pandemic, a phenomenon dubbed a “K-shaped” recovery because of the diverging fortunes of different segments of the population. 

For instance, while many households have been thriving—socking away impressive amounts of savings—millions struggle to pay their rent and mortgage. Some of the hardest hit are lower income-earners, African-Americans, Hispanics, and other racial minorities, all of whom have faced higher levels of joblessness than the overall population.

Forty-one percent of poll respondents said they experienced no change in their finances from the pandemic, and the rest said their circumstances had gotten at least a little worse or a little better. (The total is more than 100% due to rounding.)

The Balance surveyed 1,002 U.S. adults who manage their own finances and have at least one financial account between Feb. 8-12.