March 30, 2020

Most Americans Say Coronavirus Outbreak Has Impacted Their Lives

Appendix

Categorization of COVID-19 state impactThis report uses a measure of state-level impact of COVID-19. States and the District of Columbia are categorized as having experienced a high, medium, or low impact based on a combination of the total number and the per capita number of people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (as of March 22).

States were classified as “high” if they had either 1,000 or more total cases or they had more than 100 cases per million residents as of March 22. “Low” states had both fewer than 60 cases per million residents and fewer than 300 cases overall. The remaining states were classified as “medium” impact.

Data for positive cases of COVID-19 by state were taken from The COVID Tracking Project (downloaded on March 23).

Defining income tiers

To create upper-, middle- and lower-income tiers, respondents’ 2018 family incomes were adjusted for differences in purchasing power by geographic region and for household size. “Middle-income” adults live in families with annual incomes that are two-thirds to double the median family income in the American Trends Panel (after incomes have been adjusted for the local cost of living and for household size). The middle-income range for the panel is about $37,500 to $112,600 annually for a three-person household. Lower-income families have incomes less than roughly $37,500, and upper-income families have incomes greater than roughly $112,600.

Based on these adjustments, among respondents who provided their income and household size, 33% are lower income, 45% are middle income and 22% fall into the upper-income tier.

For more information about how the income tiers were determined, please see here.

CORRECTION (April 17, 2020): A previous version of this appendix had incorrect ranges for the income categories. This change does not affect the report’s findings.