- The COVID-19 pandemic halted a nearly decade-long period of economic growth.
- Economic circumstances improved from 2016 to 2020 for many Americans, but wide gaps remain between people of color and non-Hispanic whites, according to Census Bureau estimates.
- Some policies, such as increased health insurance availability, have tempered pandemic harm, but others are needed to lessen inequality, experts say.
Economic prospects gradually improved for Americans across racial and ethnic demographics in the second half of the 2010s, but significant financial gaps between groups persist, according to new data from the Census Bureau. And the COVID-19 pandemic likely stalled many of those gains for all Americans, experts said.
The bureau’sAmerican Community Survey estimates for 2016 through 2020 show median household income climbed to $64,994, up 10% from 2011 to 2015. People of color saw the biggest percentage gains, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the data.