COVID-19’s Immediate Impacts on Poverty, Hardship, and Well-Being among New Yorkers

Qin Gao, Professor of Social Policy and Social Work, Columbia University School of Social Work

Focusing on New York City, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S., this project leverages an existing panel study of about 3,000 New York City residents that has tracked indicators of economic and social disadvantage in the city for more than seven years. By combining multiple years of rich data on poverty, hardship, and well-being collected before the COVID-10 outbreak with new measures taken during the outbreak, this study offers a unique resource for understanding the economic and social psychological impacts of the pandemic. Our research questions include:
· How did the prevalence of poverty, hardship, psychological distress, and life satisfaction in New York City change during the COVID-19 outbreak?
· Were the changes in poverty, hardship, and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak shared widely or concentrated in specific groups defined by education, race/ethnicity, immigration status, family type, or age?
· To what extent were New Yorkers able to access unemployment insurance, food stamps (SNAP), paid sick leave, and other public or private programs to offset the negative impacts of the economic and social psychological consequences of COVID-19?