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Tracking the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of American households

Since March 10, 2020, we have been tracking effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on respondents to the nationally representative Understanding America Study (UAS). After an initial survey that covered March 10-31 March 2020, we launched tracking surveys every two weeks. Every day, about 500 respondents are invited to take the survey for a total of about 7000 respondents over a two-week period. Since respondents have a two-week window in which to answer questions, the total field period is 4 weeks. In practice, about 80% of respondents answer on their assigned day and overall response rates are over 90%. Results are shared in a variety of ways. Close to 3,000 graphs are updated every night, with the corresponding tab-delimited text files available for download: The underlying micro-data are available as an easy to use longitudinal file for registered researchers after the end of each four-week field period. Our ambition is to keep tracking the experiences of US households for as long as the pandemic lasts. We are currently adding county and state level data on infections, policies, and economic indicators to the microdata.

Lead investigator:

Arie Kapteyn


University of Southern California

Primary topic:

Families & households

Secondary topic:

Health, physical & mental

Region of data collection:

North America

Country of data collection


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date



Periodic (other)

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