The coronavirus pandemic has had devastating economic and health consequences in the United States. Due to persistent racial differences in wealth, poverty, employment, housing, health status, access to health care, and other factors, Black and other non-white communities have faced significantly worse economic and health effects related to the coronavirus than white communities.
On average across the United States, white people, Hispanic or Latino people, and Black people comprise 61.1%, 17.8%, and 12.3% of the population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weekly COVID-19 data release, white people have accounted for 52.7%, Hispanic or Latinos 17.2%, and Black or African Americans 22.3% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States.
Data on the race of COVID-19 victims shows that non-white populations have died at disporortionately higher rates than white populations in nearly every state.
Out of the 47 states that report the race of COVID-19 victims, the most disproportionately high COVID-19 mortality rate was born by Black or African Americans in 35 states, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) residents in five states, Asian Americans in four states, white residents in two states, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) in one state.
The relatively outsized impacts of the virus on communities of color can also be seen within states. The counties with the highest COVID-19 mortality rates consistently have disproportionately larger non-white populations. Black and Hispanic residents comprise a larger-than-average share of the population in 33 and 14 of the 50 counties where the most COVID-19 deaths have been reported per 100,000 residents.
These lopsided outcomes are largely due to the higher likelihoods that racial minority populations will fall into groups considered at risk of serious COVID-19 cases. For example, incarcerated populations, essential workers, people with disabilities, and people with underlying chronic health conditions comprise relatively larger shares of people of color compared to white Americans. For a comparison of economic and social disparities between white and Black in U.S. metropolitan areas, here are the worst cities for Black Americans.
To highlight the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on Americans, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed COVID-19 statistics for every state’s white, Black or African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander populations. We also considered the size of these racial groups and the overall COVID-19 mortality rate for counties within every state.