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Measuring Household Experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Measuring Household Experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Data collection for Phase 3.4 of the Household Pulse survey ran from March 2, 2022 through May 9, 2022. The final data product release for Phase 3.4 will be on May 18, 2022. Data collection for Phase 3.5 of the survey is scheduled to begin in later in May, with a first data product release following in June.

What is the Household Pulse Survey?

The U.S. Census Bureau, in collaboration with multiple federal agencies, is in a unique position to produce data on the social and economic effects of coronavirus on American households. The Household Pulse Survey is designed to deploy quickly and efficiently, collecting data to measure household experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. Data will be disseminated in near real-time to inform federal and state response and recovery planning.


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Note: The COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker, which focused on the number of Americans receiving at least one-dose of a COVID-vaccine, has been discontinued following phase 3.2 of the HPS. Data users can continue to access an archived version from the HPS Research and Presentations webpage.

If you have been invited to participate in the survey, find more information here.

What information does the Household Pulse Survey collect?

The Household Pulse Survey continues measuring how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting households across the country from a social and economic perspective.

For Phase 3.4 previous questions about Child Tax Credit payments have been replaced with questions about households claiming and receiving Child Tax Credits on their 2021 federal tax filings. A series of education questions about learning formats and live contact with teachers have also been returned to the survey. 

The HPS continues measuring core demographic household characteristics, as well as continuing to ask questions about COVID-19 vaccinations, education, employment, food sufficiency, household spending, household energy expenditures and consumption, housing security, physical and mental health, rental assistance from state and local governments, sexual orientation and gender identity, and transportation.

The data collected will enable the Census Bureau to produce statistics at the national and state levels and for the 15 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (metro areas).

When will Data be Made Available from the Household Pulse Survey?

Data collection for Phase 3.4 of the Household Pulse Survey started on March 2, 2022 and is scheduled to continue until May 9, 2022. 

Data collection for Phase 3.3 of the Household Pulse Survey began December 1, 2021 and ended on February 7, 2022.

Data collection for Phase 3.2 of the Household Pulse Survey began July 21, 2021 and ended on October 11, 2021.

Data collection for Phase 3.1 of the Household Pulse Survey began on April 14, 2021 and ended on July 5, 2021. 

Data collection for Phase 3 of the Household Pulse Survey began on October 28, 2020 and ended March 29, 2021.

Data collection for Phase 2 of the Household Pulse Survey began on August 19, 2020 and ended October 26, 2020.

Data collection for Phase 1 of the Household Pulse Survey began on April 23, 2020 and ended on July 21, 2020.

How is the Household Pulse Survey Different from Other Surveys Conducted by the Census Bureau?

The Census Bureau and its federal statistical partners are considered the preeminent source of the nation's most important benchmark surveys.  Many of these surveys have been ongoing for more than 80 years and provide valuable insight on social and economic trends. 

The production of these benchmark surveys is by nature a highly deliberative process.  While efforts are underway to introduce COVID-19 questions into some of these surveys, that process can take months, sometimes years, before data are made publicly available.  

The approach for the Household Pulse Survey is different: it is designed to be a short-turnaround instrument that provides valuable data to aid in the pandemic recovery. The Census Bureau is fielding the Household Pulse Survey as a part of the agency’s Experimental Data Series; as such, data products may not meet some of the Census Bureau’s statistical quality standards. Data are subject to suppression based on overall response and disclosure avoidance thresholds.


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