LGBTQ+ Poverty Dropped During Pandemic, Except Among This Group

Author: Trudy Ring

Poverty among LGBTQ+ Americans decreased sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the community’s rate of poverty is still higher than that of straight cisgender people, according to a new report from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

“LGBT Poverty in the United States,” released this week, is an update to a 2019 report of the same title. Researchers analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey to examine the rates of poverty among LGBT and non-LGBT people during the early days of the pandemic. (The report uses the term LGBT, not LGBTQ+.)

The institute found that the proportion of LGBT people experiencing poverty dropped from 23 percent in 2020 to 17 percent in 2021. During the same period, poverty declined from 16 percent to 12 percent for non-LGBT people.

“Recent studies have suggested the drop in poverty after 2020 in the general population is a sign of the positive impact of the COVID-19 stimulus programs,” lead author Bianca D.M. Wilson, senior scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute, said in a press release. “Future research should examine how disparities in eligibility and access to these types of social programs may contribute to the differences in poverty among LGBT subgroups.”

In 2021, poverty decreased for all subpopulations of LGBT people except cisgender lesbians, according to the report. The most notable declines in poverty from 2020 to 2021 were seen among transgender people (35 percent to 21 percent) and cisgender bisexual women (30 percent to 20 percent).

The poverty rate for cisgender gay men dropped from 13 percent to 10 percent, while that for cisgender lesbians rose from 14 percent to 17 percent. Cisgender bisexual men had a drop in the poverty rate from 21 percent to 13 percent.

LGBT households with children also experienced a significant drop in poverty. The poverty rate of cisgender bisexual women with children decreased considerably between 2020 and 2021 (42 percent to 27 percent), as did that of transgender people with children (52 percent to 26 percent).

Poverty rates were higher for people of color, both LGBT and non-LGBT, at both time points, though there was a decline among all groups from 2020 to 2021. The rate for LGBT POC overall declined from 33 percent to 25 percent, while that for cisgender straight POC dropped from 27 percent to 20 percent. The rate for white LGBT people dropped from 16 percent to 13 percent, while that for cisgender straight white people declined from 8 percent to 7 percent.

“While this study finds a drop in the percentages of people experiencing poverty across the U.S. population, economic disparities between LGBT and non-LGBT people persist,” study author M.V. Lee Badgett, distinguished scholar at the Williams Institute, said in the release. “Addressing contributors to elevated rates of poverty among LGBT people, including unemployment, poor health, and disability, is vital to reduce poverty among LGBT adults.”

Read a summary here and the full report here.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring


My name is David but my online nick almost everywhere is Altabear. I'm a web developer, graphic artist and outspoken human rights (and by extension, mens rights) advocate. Married to my gorgeous husband for 12 years, together for 25 and living with our partner of 4 years, in beautiful Edmonton, Canada.

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