Emerging Latino communities in the United States are more vulnerable to Covid-19 than the average Hispanic, but they trust President Joe Biden more to solve problems stemming from the pandemic, according to two Univision Noticias and UnidosUS surveys conducted in mid-March.
In addition to interviewing 1,400 Hispanics nationwide, the polling firm BSP Research surveyed 800 Latinos in 300 counties not traditionally seen as Hispanic, but where they have had the highest percentage or numerical growth in the country over the past 20 years. Its goal was to measure, for the first time, the impact of Covid-19 on these emerging communities.
The two surveys confirm that Hispanics have been hard hit by the pandemic. Although a large majority (71%) say they are more concerned about their health than the impact on their finances, the numbers show the magnitude of the problem: 28% reported that they have lost their job or someone in their household has been out of work; 44% have had their or someone in their household's hours cut; 48% have had to dip into their savings to pay their expenses; 38% have had trouble paying their rent or mortgage; and 20% reported that they or someone in their household has lost health insurance or other work benefits. However, surveys suggest that the impact has been even greater in emerging Latino communities (where a good portion of the immigrants who have arrived in the country in recent years may reside)
However, the surveys suggest that the impact has been even greater in emerging Latino communities (where a good portion of the immigrants who have arrived in the country in recent years may reside).
In that sense, 36% reported loss of employment for themselves or someone in their household, 50% cut back on work hours, 42% had problems paying their rent, and 25% lost health insurance for themselves or someone in their household. They also say they are more exposed to the dangers of the pandemic as 61% say they are in direct contact with the public because of their work, versus 56% in the general population.
Still, Hispanics living in emerging communities are more hopeful than average about government action: 87% approve of President Biden's handling of the pandemic (vs. 82% of Hispanics overall) and 92% support President Biden's handling of the pandemic (vs. 82% of Hispanics in the general population). The government's stimulus package to help individuals, schools and small businesses is supported by 92% (vs. 87% of Hispanics overall).
Overall, President Biden enjoys high popularity among Hispanics, with 78% approval overall and 86% in emerging communities. This approval is higher than the percentage of those who say they voted for him, 69% and 81% respectively. Biden is also the most trusted after doctors and nurses when it comes to evaluating the messages received about the coronavirus (followed by teachers and professors, grassroots organizations and Spanish-language media). This trust in Spanish-language media is even higher in emerging communities, and more than three-quarters of respondents in these communities say they rely on Spanish-language media as their source of news and information.
However, it appears there is still work to be done to convince more Hispanics to join the vaccination process: there are still 22% undecided in the national survey and 26% in emerging communities. That's slightly higher than the 17% who prefer to wait to get vaccinated in the general population, according to the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey. However, only 13% of Hispanics overall (9% in emerging communities) say they will not get injected, a percentage similar to or even lower than the general population surveyed in that poll.
Although a majority say they are prepared to receive the vaccine and know how to get it, there is still a high percentage (28%) who say they have no idea how to sign up to receive it, or have already tried with no results.
On the other hand, not a few have heard false messages against the vaccine (which does not necessarily mean that they believe them): 43% that it can affect fertility; 37% that it is immoral; 63% that it is not safe because it was made too quickly; 57% that it can be used to track people. These percentages are even higher in emerging communities (50%, 45%, 69%, and 59% respectively).
In this new survey, the coronavirus is once again the biggest concern for Hispanics, followed by jobs and the economy; but while the third priority for all Latinos is health care costs, for those surveyed in emerging communities it is immigration reform. Some 67% of Hispanics living in growing Latino populations approve of President Biden's handling of the immigration issue, compared to 55% of Hispanics nationwide.
Methodology: Univision News, in collaboration with the civil rights organization Unidos US, conducted a survey interviewing 2,200 Latino adults in the United States between March 16 -27, 2021. Of those, 1400 were collected as a national sample, while another 800 were oversampled in emerging communities. Overall, 300 counties were identified as emerging communities with the highest rates of Latino growth or the largest numerical Latino population increases between 2000 and 2019, as reported by the Census and American Community Survey, and excluding rapid growing counties in traditionally Latino areas. The margin-of-error for the entire study is +/-2.1%, and the MOE for the oversample is +/- 3.5%. Residents were interviewed in English or Spanish, choice made available upon first contact. In total, 35% of interviews were completed on live telephone calls, and 65% were completed online but 50% of those in the oversample were completed on live telephone calls. The survey was overseen by Dr. Sergio Garcia-Rios, director of polling for Univision, and administered by BSP Research. Icons: iStock.