UCLA releases preliminary results of California Health Interview Survey

Preliminary data from UCLA’s California Health Interview Survey details the impacts of COVID-19 on Californians’ jobs, finances, and home lives.

The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) is the largest state health survey in the nation. As part of the survey, over 20,000 Californians are interviewed each year on a broad range of health topics. Typically, results are published in October of the year after the data is collected, but this year UCLA decided to release some preliminary data early to provide insight into the impacts of COVID-19 on Californians.


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This is the first time in the 20-year history of the survey that a portion of the results have been released early.

“When we started to see the impact that COVID-19 was going to have on the community, we felt called to produce data that can be used by decision-makers on who and how to assist during this unprecedented time,” said Todd Hughes, director of the California Health Interview Survey, in a press release.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research collected the COVID-related data from over 5,000 Californian adults in May. The data is now available on a data dashboard where users can filter information by geographic region, race and ethnicity, income level, or citizenship status.

According to the preliminary data, 10.9% of Californians lost their jobs during the pandemic, but this impact was more acutely felt by people of color. Twenty-one percent of Black Californians and 14.8% of Latino Californians reported losing their jobs compared to 9.6% of white individuals. Financial impacts also disproportionately impact Black and Latino residents with 23.1% of Black individuals and 15.5% of Latinos reporting having difficulty affording basic necessities, compared to 6.8% of white residents and 11.2% overall.


UCLA Center for Health Policy Research


Also, 5.4% of people of Asian descent reported being treated unfairly due to race/ethnicity compared to 2.1% of all state residents.

In total, 76.6% of respondents said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if one was available. Broken down by race and ethnicity, those of Asian descent and white individuals were most likely to report a willingness to get a COVID vaccine at 88.6% and 82.9%, respectively. American Indian/Alaska Native (38.3%) and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (19.2%) individuals showed the lowest willingness to get the vaccine, though the dashboard notes that this is an “unstable estimate” because of large variation. Sixty-seven percent of Black and Latino individuals report they would get the vaccine.

The full 2020 results from the survey will be released October 2021.

“The data produced by our survey aligns with our center’s mission of democratizing access to impactful and actionable data,” said Ninez Ponce, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and the survey’s principal investigator. “We will continue to provide high-quality data and tools to assist researchers, policymakers, advocacy organizations and other partners in looking at crucial data across our diverse population.”