How we are covering COVID-19

As an organization committed to informing the public by providing facts and analysis about the most pressing issues of the day, Pew Research Center pivoted in the early days of the U.S. outbreak to cover the far-reaching impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our society.

We have enlisted staff from all research areas at the Center, applying their technical capacities, subject matter expertise and creativity to capture multiple facets of how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting life at the local, national and international level. Since mid-March, we have produced more than 50 reports and articles, all of which can be found here.

Michael Dimock, president of Pew Research Center

As we design our research, we are thinking about contributing information that matters today, but also laying foundations for research that will address critical questions that will arise in the years to come. In many ways, the COVID-19 crisis is accelerating several of the core trends we have been studying for decades, including political realignment, restructuring of personal and family lives, where people place their trust, expectations around the social contract, the future of work, and loneliness, isolation, community and faith.

We are also focusing our efforts on studying the impact of the crisis on key subgroups that are often overlooked. If there is a single takeaway from what we’ve seen over the first two months, it is that the personal, economic, health and opportunity effects of this crisis differ widely, and those disparities may grow and persist. Ensuring that we cover the full spectrum of how this crisis is disrupting people’s lives – not just national averages – is critically important.

To achieve this broader understanding of how the pandemic is changing society, we are combining findings from new public opinion surveys with analysis of social, economic and digital data streams. Our U.S. survey work is conducted online using our American Trends Panel, which is a random sample of more than 13,000 U.S. adults that reflects the full range of opinions in the country. Internationally, we are doing telephone surveys in more than a dozen countries to bring a multinational perspective to a crisis that intrinsically crosses borders.

We are posting all of our COVID-19-related findings in one place on our website and including them in our weekly roundup newsletter to provide easy access to our data and analysis. In addition, because we sometimes only scratch the surface in our reports and analyses, our full datasets are available for download or interactive analysis in our online data tool so that citizens, journalists, scientists and policymakers can have full and easy access to everything we are collecting.

We look forward to sharing with you the facts as we learn them – to inform and enrich the public dialogue and support sound decision-making at all levels, especially in this most challenging time.

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