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Almost 20% of U.S. households lost entire savings during pandemic

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By Simone Silvan | Bloomberg

For many Americans, coronavirus lockdowns — with nowhere to go and nothing to do — were a time to save. But for almost 20% of U.S. households, the pandemic wiped out their entire financial cushion, a poll released Tuesday finds.

The share of respondents who said they lost all their savings jumped to 30% for those making less than $50,000 a year, the poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds. Black and Latino households were also harder hit. The researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,616 U.S. adults ages 18 or older.

Avenel Joseph, a vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said many people dipped into their savings to cover child or health care expenses. “When crisis hits, or anything goes out of the norm — your child is sick, for example — you are sacrificing wages,” she said. Almost two-thirds of households earning less than $50,000 a year said they had trouble affording rent, medical care, and food.



By Simone Silvan | Bloomberg

For many Americans, coronavirus lockdowns — with nowhere to go and nothing to do — were a time to save. But for almost 20% of U.S. households, the pandemic wiped out their entire financial cushion, a poll released Tuesday finds.

The share of respondents who said they lost all their savings jumped to 30% for those making less than $50,000 a year, the poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds. Black and Latino households were also harder hit. The researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,616 U.S. adults ages 18 or older.

Avenel Joseph, a vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said many people dipped into their savings to cover child or health care expenses. “When crisis hits, or anything goes out of the norm — your child is sick, for example — you are sacrificing wages,” she said. Almost two-thirds of households earning less than $50,000 a year said they had trouble affording rent, medical care, and food.

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