The Household Pulse Survey Provides Data Quickly During the Pandemic
On April 23, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting data for a new experimental survey designed to rapidly capture and publish data called the Household Pulse Survey. The survey provides insight into how household experiences have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information collected includes employment status, spending patterns, food security, housing, physical and mental health, access to health care, and educational disruption.
The Household Pulse Survey is a longitudinal survey of all households, excluding Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories. The survey offers a large sample size that encompasses all states and 15 metropolitan statistical areas, and the data are made available shortly after collection. Researchers should note that, given the low response rate of the survey, the standard error for the survey data is high.
Several federal agencies collaborated to develop the questionnaire: the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics, and HUD.
The U.S. Census Bureau is collecting data for 90 days starting on April 23 and is publishing the data weekly. To access Household Pulse Survey data and for more technical information, please visit https://www.census.gov/householdpulsedata.