Cities where residents had to use stimulus checks to get past
Cities where residents had to use stimulus checks to get past

Cities where residents had to use stimulus checks to get past

Photo credit: Evgenia Parajanian / Shutterstock

The US economy today is in far better shape than it was at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago. Unemployment approaching the pre-pandemic level, GDP growth has increased significantly and many workers – especially lower wage earners – have seen one increase in wagesalthough the effect of this has been dampened by recent inflation.

Two years ago, the new pandemic and the consequent economic effects created much more uncertainty and fear in the economy, with rising unemployment, and entire sectors of the economy shut down. In response, the federal government intervened unprecedented levels of economic relief to U.S. households and the economy in three major stimulus packages adopted in 2020 and 2021.

One of the signature components of Congressional financial relief efforts was a series Economic impact payments made for American households. Payment amounts and eligibility varied in each package, but most low- and middle-income households received $ 3,200 per month. adult across the three payouts, and more for households with breadwinners. These payments were included to help households deal with lost jobs or wages due to COVID-related disruptions and to help stimulate demand in the economy at a time when many industries were struggling.

The US Census survey data from July 2020, just a few months after the initial round of payments from the CARES Act, showed that the payments were a significant help for many households to cover ordinary living costs. More than 60% of American adults – more than 150 million people – used their stimulus checks to cover the cost of living, far more than the proportion who paid off the debt or simply saved the money. Given that much of the economy was shut down in the spring and early summer of 2020, and unemployment was still at historic highs, the further relief from the federal government provided much-needed support to families who would otherwise have struggled to make ends meet together.

Despite the success and popularity of the first round of stimulus payments in the CARES Act, subsequent rounds met with more criticism. These critics predicted that with many parts of the economy doing better than expected, a broad stimulus would give affluent households more money than they needed and potentially produce inflation. Some economic experts and policy makers argued instead more limited, revenue-based payments to the most needy households.

In retrospect, the Census survey data confirm that there were in fact significant differences between how more needy and less needy households spent their stimulus payments. The households most likely to use their stimulus payments for cost of living were racial and ethnic minorities and low incomes. More than three-quarters of black adults (75.9%) reported using stimulus checks for cost of living, compared with only 60.3% of adults who identified as white alone. The differences were even greater in the income distribution: 77.1% of adults with household incomes below $ 35,000 used incentive payments for living expenses, nearly five times the proportion of adults from households earning more than $ 200,000 (15.7%). These higher incomes were more likely to pay off debt, save money, or buy unnecessary things.

Given the demographic and economic trends in how stimulus payments were used, the southern United States – which has a higher population of minority and low-income adults – saw the largest proportion of adults using their checks for living expenses. Eight of the 10 states where most adults used incentives to cover living expenses are found in the south, including Louisiana (74.4%) and West Virginia (72.1%). At the metro level, southern cities were also commonly among the places where people covered the cost of living with their payments, including four of the top five.

The data used in this analysis are from the US Census Bureau Household heart rate survey. To determine the places where residents should use stimulus checks to cope, researchers have on Hire a helper calculated the proportion of adults who reported using stimulus to cover living expenses. Researchers also included statistics on the proportion of adults who use stimulants to pay off debt or increase savings. Only US states and the 15 major metropolitan areas with data available from Household heart rate survey was included in this analysis.

Here are the US subways where residents had to use stimulus checks to make ends meet.

Metros where residents used stimulus checks to get past

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15. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 54.0%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 10.7%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 12.7%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 22.6%

Image credit: AG Baxter / Shutterstock

14. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 55.4%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 11.7%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 10.0%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 22.9%

Photo credit: Jeff Hollis / Shutterstock

13. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 56.5%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 10.5%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 12.9%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 20.1%

Photo credit: William Perugini / Shutterstock

12. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 59.4%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 10.7%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 7.1%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 22.8%

Photo credit: yhelfman / Shutterstock

11. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA.

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 60.1%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 4.8%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 9.7%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 25.4%

Photo credit: Chones / Shutterstock

10. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA.

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 63.5%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 11.0%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 6.6%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 18.8%

Image credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

9. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 63.7%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 10.6%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 9.6%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 16.1%

Image credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 63.8%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 12.1%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 11.2%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 12.9%

Photo credit: Oleg Podzorov / Shutterstock

7. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 65.3%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 11.2%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 7.7%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 15.9%

Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

6. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 65.9%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 9.9%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 13.3%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 10.8%

Photo credit: RaulCano / Shutterstock

5. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 66.9%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 6.1%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 6.0%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 21.0%

Photo credit: Luciano Mortula – LGM / Shutterstock

4. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 66.9%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 11.0%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 7.7%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 14.4%

Photo credit: Charl W Folscher / Shutterstock

3. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 67.4%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 9.9%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 8.7%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 14.0%

Photo credit: Galina Savina / Shutterstock

2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 71.4%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 8.4%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 6.3%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 13.9%

Photo credit: Steve Minkler / Shutterstock

1. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA.

  • Adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living: 72.9%
  • Adults who used incentives to pay debts: 10.5%
  • Adults who used stimulus to increase savings: 6.0%
  • Adults who did not receive the stimulus: 10.5%

Detailed results and method

The data used in this analysis are from the US Census Bureau Household heart rate survey week 12which covered the period from 16 July 2020 to 21 July 2020. In order to determine the places where residents should use stimulus checks to cope, researchers have a Hire a helper calculated the proportion of adults who used the stimulus to cover the cost of living, ranging from high to low. In case of a tie, the ranking with the higher proportion of adults using incentive to pay debt was ranked higher. Only US states and the 15 major metros with data available from Household heart rate survey was included in this analysis.

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