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Measuring Household Experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Measuring Household Experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Data collection for Phase 3.10 of the Household Pulse Survey started on August 23, 2023, and is scheduled to continue until October 30, 2023. This latest version of the survey will continue with a two-weeks on, two-weeks off collection and dissemination approach.

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 was designed to deploy quickly and efficiently, collecting data to measure household experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. It has evolved to include content on other emergent social and economic issues facing households. Data will be disseminated in near real-time to inform federal and state action.

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 Data users can continue to access an archived version from the HPS Research and Presentations webpage.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 measures how the coronavirus pandemic and other emergent issues are impacting households across the country from a social and economic perspective.

The HPS also asks about core demographic household characteristics (including sexual orientation and gender identity), as well as the following topics:

  • Access to infant formula
  • Children’s mental health treatment
  • COVID-19 vaccinations and long COVID symptoms and impact
  • Use of antivirals to treat COVID-19
  • Education, specifically K-12 enrollment
  • Childcare Arrangements
  • Employment
  • Food sufficiency
  • Housing security
  • Household spending, including energy expenditures and consumption
  • Inflation concerns and changes in behavior due to increasing prices 
  • Physical and mental health
  • Feelings of pressure to move from rental home
  • Transportation, including behavioral changes related to the cost of gas
  • Health insurance coverage (including Medicaid)
  • Shortage of critical products
  • Impact of living through natural disasters

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 releases for Phase 3.10 of the survey are scheduled for September 20, October 11, and November 8, 2023.

What are the previous data collection cycles of the survey?

Phase 1: April 23, 2020 - July 21, 2020

Phase 2: August 19, 2020 - October 26, 2020

Phase 3: October 28, 2020 - March 29, 2021

Phase 3.1: April 14, 2021 - July 5, 2021

Phase 3.2: July 21, 2021 – October 11, 2021

Phase 3.3: December 1, 2021 – February 7, 2022

Phase 3.4: March 2, 2022 – May 9, 2022

Phase 3.5: June 1, 2022 – August 8, 2022

Phase 3.6: September 14, 2022 – November 14, 2022

Phase 3.7: December 9, 2022 – February 13, 2023

Phase 3.8: March 1, 2023 – May 8, 2023

Phase 3.9: June 7, 2023 – August 7, 2023

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 COVID-19 questions were introduced into some of these surveys, many surveys have ceased to collect such data and the process to release the data from these surveys 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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Page Last Revised - August 22, 2023
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