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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The Household Pulse Survey continues measuring how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting households across the country from a social and economic perspective. Phase 3.2 of the survey includes new questions on sexual orientation and gender identity, Child Tax Credit payments, COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 12 and older, household energy expenditures and consumption, children’s summer educational activities, and rental assistance from state and local governments. The survey continues measuring core demographic household characteristics, as well as continuing to ask questions about education, employment, food sufficiency, household spending, housing security and physical and mental health. In order to reduce respondent burden, Phase 3.2 of the HPS has removed a variety of content whose utility has declined over time.
The HPS continues to be a collaborative undertaking and is fielded in partnership with the following federal agencies:
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).
Data collection for Phase 3.2 of the survey began on July 21, 2021, with a first data release on August 11, 2021. Data collection is scheduled to continue until October 11, 2021, with data releases every two weeks.
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.
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.
Household Pulse Survey Technical Documentation
Background information on the Household Pulse Survey, Source and Accuracy statements, and User Note.