New Report: Nearly Half of Women Surveyed Feel Financially Insecure

Most say insecurities existed even before pandemic.

A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly a third (31%) of women living in New York City reported having income that is insufficient to meet their basic needs, according to an Ipsos poll just released by The American Association of University Women (AAUW). Nearly half (49%) reported that they do not feel financially secure.

“This report is a wakeup call that we must take concrete steps now to end the systemic inequities that are hurting women and their families,” AAUW CEO Gloria Blackwell said.

The poll, conducted in August 2021, asked 723 women living in the five boroughs of New York City how the pandemic affected their economic status. A significant portion (38%) responded that they had lost some or all of their income during the pandemic.

However, of those who reported not being able to afford their basic needs—including housing, health care, food, utilities, transportation or child care—more than half (55%) said they had not lost any income during the pandemic. This indicates that women were struggling to make ends meet long before COVID took hold in March 2020.

The situation is even worse for women of color. Only 22% of white women reported that their income did not cover their basic needs, compared to 37% of Latina women, 36% of Black women, and 28% of Asian women.

“Fortunately, we already know the steps we need to take: Making sure everyone has access to comprehensive unemployment insurance, guaranteeing paid leave for all, and canceling crippling student debt will give millions of women and families the financial stability they need to thrive,” Blackwell said.

Notably, the report also found that more than a third of women whose income was above the median for New York City, reported feeling financially insecure, raising additional questions about fair pay and whether incomes are keeping pace with living costs.

Read the full report at

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The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Learn more and join us at