New Survey Identifies Impacts from COVID Pandemic on U.S., Across Regions

Originally published by The Data Foundation.

First week of survey data are now available at

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2020 – Today the Data Foundation released the first week (April 20-26, 2020) of data collected in the COVID Impact Survey. The survey is an effort to provide national and regional statistics about physical health, mental health, economic security, and social dynamics in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.

The results released today provide reliable estimates at the national level as well as for 10 states and 8 metropolitan areas, including for California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Oregon, Texas, Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh.

“The first week of data from the COVID Impact Survey validates the difficulties Americans are facing in the current pandemic are national, not regional,” said Nick Hart, President of the Data Foundation. “But the story about impacts is much more complicated when we look beneath the headlines. Our survey results also suggest variation in how individuals across the country are responding, with mixed compliance on CDC guidelines for wearing face masks, engaging in social distancing, and cancelling activities.”

Key findings from the first week of data include:

  • The American public generally reported being in good physical health (87 percent), but identified high levels of perceived “hopelessness” (41 percent) one or more days of the last week
  • Respondents offered a relatively negative economic outlook, with 40 percent indicating it is unlikely they will be employed 30 days from now
  • While households across America are generally complying with CDC recommendations, low-income households are less compliant with wearing masks, avoiding public places, maintaining social distancing, and rescheduling activities
  • Almost one-third of households responded they were not likely at all to download a smart-phone application to track locations and send notifications related to COVID symptoms, with variation by region

The COVID Impact Survey is unique in that its methodological approach relies on an address-based random sample and also includes a range of questions about physical health, mental health, and economic security on a single survey.

The survey was administered by NORC at the University of Chicago and the project is supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Additional details about the COVID Impact Survey, including a complete de-identified, open dataset are available at for ongoing research and analysis.


About the COVID Impact Survey Project
The COVID Impact Survey is an effort to provide national and regional statistics about health, the economy, and social dynamics in the United States. Learn more at

About the Data Foundation
The Data Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Washington, D.C. The organization focuses on studying and developing strategies to improve the federal government’s data infrastructure to support evidence-based policymaking and open data products. Supported by private sector, philanthropy, and government contract funding, the Data Foundation will provide administration and operational support for the project, including communications and coordination with key policymaking communities. Learn more at

About NORC at the University of Chicago
NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.

Contact: For more information, contact Jessica Yabsley at or 202-415-4025