Survey Highlights COVID's Effect on Tennessee

November 19th, 2020

COVID Survey Highlights Pandemic's Financial Effect on TN 

Erratum Note:

In the previously issued version of the COVID-19 Impact Survey: 2020 Tennessee Results Report, an error in the database lead to the incorrect ALICE Threshold categorization for households with income above $100,000. That issue has been corrected in the latest version, which now shows that 33% of respondents had income below the ALICE Threshold and 66% had income above the ALICE Threshold. All statistical analyses of the differences between these groups have also been updated (shown in gold boxes throughout the document).

United Ways of TN COVID-19 Impact Survey
Illuminates the Pandemic’s Financial Impact
on Tennesseans

Media Contact: Mary Graham 
Cell: 615-495-9970 
Date: 11/19/2020

Murfreesboro, TN – United Ways of Tennessee (UWTN) released a survey report which gives the first snapshot of how individual households have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey shows that contracting the virus is the top concern for most Tennesseans (80%), but a significant portion of respondents also have struggled with mental health issues, access to child care, and providing for basic needs. The survey report and additional information can be found here: 

Learn More About COVID's Impact on ALICE

UWTN conducted a COVID-19 Impact Survey in September to assess the financial and household burdens that the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused on our state’s families. The survey received more than 2000 responses from people of all income levels and with both urban and rural representation.

“United Way hopes these survey results will inform policymakers, advocates, and community leaders as we work towards recovery and a prosperous future for all Tennesseans,” said Mary Graham, president of UWTN.  “Financial struggles are real and deep.  Half of respondents said they had taken money out of savings, 30% increased credit card balances, and 30% applied for unemployment.”

“United Ways of Tennessee would like to remind all in our community who are struggling to provide for their families’ basic needs that 2-1-1 is a one-stop call for help. But please reach out for assistance as soon as possible. Do not wait until eviction or utility shutoff are imminent, because our community partners need time to determine eligibility and connect you to emergency resources if you qualify. Anyone can dial 2-1-1 or search for resources at Graham said.

The Tennessee Afterschool Network was a sponsor of this survey initiative because as expected, the results demonstrate that childcare and remote learning challenges are top of mind for parents in Tennessee. Just over half of parents noted that they had struggled with juggling work and child care, 45% have had concerns with helping with distanced learning, and 40% said child care issues impacted household members’ ability to work during the pandemic.

“Public investment to support accessible, affordable high-quality child care including afterschool and summer programming is essential to help our economy recover from the pandemic. Many parents to do not get to choose to work from home or step away from a career to care for children during a pandemic. We need safe child care to be ready and available for every phase of the recovery,” Graham said.

About United Ways of Tennessee

United Ways ofTennessee (UWTN) is the association of 32 United Ways, coming together for collective action to fight for the health, education and financial stability of everyone living in our state.  AsTennessee’s leading community solutions provider, we are the driving force behind many initiatives that provide solutions to the most critical needs.

About Tennessee Afterschool Network

The Tennessee Afterschool Network supports children, youth, families and communities by advocating and building capacity with a unified voice for sustainable investments in safe, healthy and nurturing afterschool, childcare, and summer experiences.


Posted by Kelley Nave