New data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals households with LGBT people have higher rates of food and economic insecurity.

The report is part of the Census Bureau’s first-of-its-kind Household Pulse Survey, which asks about sexual orientation and gender identity. Identifying adult LGBT populations is new ground for the Census Bureau as it attempts to measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on American households. 

“Victory,” tweeted Mayra Hidalgo Salazar, deputy executive director at the National LGBTQ Task Force. “The Task Force has been advocating for this since the ‘90s. This is a result of decades of advocacy demanding that LGBTQ people be counted, seen and valued.”

But queering the census, as the Task Force puts it, is also discovering some painful truths.

The survey found 13.1% of LGBT adults lived in a household that experienced food insecurity in the past seven days. The rate was 7.2% for non-LGBT adults. 

Other findings from the survey: 36.6% of LGBT adults lived in a household that had difficulty paying for usual household expenses compared to 26.1% of non-LGBT adults. Households with LGBT adults had a higher rate (19.8%) of lost employment income in the last four weeks than non-LGBT adults (16.8%).

The survey found 8.2% of LGBT adults said they were not confident their household would make the next housing payment on time compared to 6% of non-LGBT adults.

In total, the survey found 8.2% of American households experienced food scarcity. The number rose slightly to 8.5% for Florida households and significantly higher for the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area to 14.7%.

The report was released Aug. 11 with data collected July 21 to Aug. 2. Overall, 1,042,642 households were invited with 64,562 responses for a weighted response rate of 6.1%.


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