Difficulty Paying Bills Tops Pandemic High in US Census Survey

September 10, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- The share of Americans who report having difficulties paying their bills has surpassed its 2020 pandemic peak in a US Census Bureau survey, underscoring the toll of soaring prices on budgets. When the Census first asked the question two years ago, a third of respondents reported difficulties in covering usual household bills. In Dallas, for example, the share of respondents having difficulty paying bills jumped to about to 45.9% from 27.9% a year earlier. A report last week from New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli showed that one in eight residents were behind on paying their utility bills as of March. Nationally, the latest Census survey shows that more than one third of households reduced or forwent expenses for basic household necessities, such as medicine or food, in order to pay an energy bill.