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This Is the State Where the Most People Work From Home

Shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19, the Census Bureau launched a vast initiative to measure the effects of the disease on Americans. It is called the Household Pulse Survey. So far, the results have been released in three phases, which began with the first study that was in the field starting April 23, 2020. The data is released by week.

Each weekly report actually covers about two weeks of information gathered by the Census Bureau and other federal agencies. Among the questions asked each week is whether any adult in the respondent’s household “teleworks,” which is the study’s term for working from home or a site other than the office. Telework, to qualify, must be due to needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be done for “some” or “all” of their work time.

Current data also covers Week 25 and includes the results of questions about income loss, the percentage of Americans who work from home, food scarcity, food insecurity, chances of eviction or foreclosure, difficulty in paying household expenses, whether people have received a COVID-19 vaccine and whether those not vaccinated plan to be.

The work is done in partnership with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Center for Education Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Social Security Administration and USDA Economic Research Service.

Data come from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and America’s largest metro areas.

There have been several major studies about the extent to which people work from home. The wide range of outcomes happens, to some extent, because of the wording of the question. Pew Research found that 71% of people in its poll, done in December, currently were working from home. A Stanford study, done much earlier, in June found that 42% of people worked full time from home. It also found that, from its sample, 33% were not working.

The Household Pulse Survey shows that the U.S. figure for telework was 38.4%. The state with the highest number was Utah at 49.6%. Higher still, the number for the District of Columbia was 70.5%. Massachusetts (49.1%) and Maryland (47.1%) followed Utah.

The Household Pulse Survey does not draw a relationship between telework and income. However, the District of Columbia’s residents have a higher median household income than any of the states do. Maryland is first among all states, and Massachusetts is fourth.

The state with the lowest telework percentage is Mississippi at 23.1%, followed by South Dakota (23.3%), Alabama (24.6%) and West Virginia (25.5%). These states tend to have low median household incomes.

Among cities, the percentage of people who fall into the telework category is led by Washington, D.C., at 59.5%, then San Francisco at 54.4% and Boston at 53.3%.

The States Where the Most People Work From Home

State Working From Home
Utah 52.7%
Maryland 50.2%
Massachusetts 49.5%
New Jersey 49.4%
Connecticut 49.1%
Colorado 48.1%
Virginia 46.8%
Washington 44.4%
Minnesota 43.5%
California 43.2%
Vermont 41.7%
New Hampshire 41.2%
New York 40.9%
Arizona 40.6%
Pennsylvania 39.7%
United States 38.8%
Illinois 38.4%
Rhode Island 38.3%
Texas 38.1%
North Carolina 38.0%
Alaska 37.8%
Georgia 37.6%
Nebraska 37.5%
Oregon 37.5%
Kansas 37.3%
Maine 37.0%
Ohio 36.6%
New Mexico 36.5%
Michigan 36.1%
Delaware 35.8%
Wisconsin 35.3%
Missouri 34.6%
Hawaii 34.4%
Kentucky 33.8%
Idaho 33.6%
Tennessee 33.1%
Indiana 32.9%
Florida 32.7%
Montana 32.3%
Arkansas 31.7%
Oklahoma 31.7%
South Carolina 31.4%
Iowa 30.9%
South Dakota 29.4%
Alabama 28.4%
Louisiana 27.5%
Nevada 27.5%
North Dakota 26.3%
West Virginia 26.3%
Wyoming 26.0%
Mississippi 23.7%

Click here to see the state where people worry most about losing income.