COVID-19 Impact Study Reveals Stark Racial Differences Among Ypsilanti Residents

September 16, 2020

Together with Eastern Michigan University’s Family Empowerment Program and the Washtenaw County Racial Equity Office, the Center for Equitable Family and Community Well-Being at the University of Michigan School of Social Work finds COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on Ypsilanti residents of color. Black and Latinx residents are more likely to have a friend or family member die from COVID-19, to have lost their job during the pandemic, and to have had difficulty with their child’s transition to virtual learning, among other findings. These results come from a survey of 676 Ypsilanti residents taken between June 12 and August 21, funded by a grant from Poverty Solutions.

Of respondents who self-identified their race, 33.6% identified as Black, 51.7% as white, 11.5% as Latinx, and all other races comprised 3%.

Key findings include the following:

  • 35% of Black respondents report having friends or family members die from COVID-19, versus 9% of white and 15% of Latinx respondents.
  • 16% of Black and 17% of Latinx respondents have lost their jobs as a results of COVID-19, versus 9% of white respondents.
  • 48% of Black respondents believed they were ineligible for the expanded UI benefits under the CARES Act, versus 29% of white and 25% of Latinx respondents.
  • 38% of Black respondents are able to work from home during the pandemic, versus 65% of white and 82% of Latinx respondents.
  • 13% of Black and Latinx respondents, respectively, have moved as a result of COVID-19, versus 4% of white respondents.
  • 39% of Latinx and 30% of Black respondents report being late with rent or mortgage payments during the pandemic, versus 11% of white respondents.
  • 64% of Latinx respondents are worried they will run out of food in the next seven days, versus 37% of Black and 20% of white respondents.
  • 34% of Latinx respondents report lack of support from their school district as a barrier to virtual learning, versus 12% of Black and 10% of white respondents.

The Washtenaw County Racial Equity Office will distribute information about the results to Ypsilanti residents in the coming days. More detailed information on the results of the survey can be found at http://ssw.umich.edu/covid19impact. Questions on the survey were adapted from the Detroit Metro Area Communities Study COVID-19 Rapid Response survey. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4%.

For inquiries, contact Patrick Meehan at pjmeeh@umich.edu.