Each September, the U.S. Census Bureau releases detailed data about poverty and income levels in every state and the nation as a whole. The data in this chartbook were released in September 2020, but describes the state of Louisiana’s economy in 2019, before the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. While the annual American Community Survey data never represents a real-time snapshot of economic conditions, the year-over-year difference this year is particularly stark, as hundreds of thousands of Louisianans (and millions of Americans) have lost their jobs since March 2020 after a decade of steady economic growth.

The last section of this report includes data taken from the Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, which collects more up-to-date information about the ways Americans are experiencing hunger, housing insecurity and unemployment amid the Covid-19 pandemic.