Special Report

How COVID-19 Has Disproportionately Affected Minority Communities In Every State

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images News via Getty Images

41. South Dakota
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: No racial data available
> Share of COVID-19 infections: Data not available
> Share of COVID-19 deaths: Data not available
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Buffalo County (146 per 100,000 county residents)
> Buffalo County population: White (12.3%); Black (0.1%); AIAN (82.3%); Asian (0.0%); NHPI (1.1%); Hispanic (3.2%)

The disparity in COVID-19 infections along racial lines in South Dakota is among the worst in the United States. Black Americans account for less than 2% of South Dakota’s population, yet account for nearly 15% of all COVID-19 infections in the state. Similarly, though Native Americans make up only 8.4% of the state population, they also account for 17.9% of all known coronavirus cases. The disparities are also evident among the state’s Hispanic and Latino residents who account for 3.7% of the population but 16.7% of all infections.

Source: Brett Carlsen / Getty Images News via Getty Images

42. Tennessee
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (16.6% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 32.0%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 38.2%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Trousdale County (52 per 100,000 county residents)
> Trousdale County population: White (84.5%); Black (9.5%); AIAN (0.3%); Asian (0.2%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (0.7%)

Black residents in Tennessee are being affected by COVID-19 at about double their proportion in the population. Black residents make up 16.6% of Tennessee’s population but they account for 32.0% of COVID-19 infections. And 38.2% of the residents who have died because of the coronavirus were Black.

Trousdale County, the smallest of Tennessee’s 95 counties by area, is the eighth least populous. Still, the county ranks eighth among counties in the state for total COVID-19 infections. The county is home to the Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility in Hartsville, where more than 1,300 inmates and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in May.

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43. Texas
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (11.7% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 14.6%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 14.6%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Crane County (186 per 100,000 county residents)
> Crane County population: White (32.0%); Black (3.9%); AIAN (0.1%); Asian (0.4%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (63.6%)

Texas, the second most populous state in the country, is experiencing a COVID-19 surge, recording its largest number of deaths in one day, at 129, on Thursday. The state also added more than 28,000 new cases from July 14 to 16.

Black residents, who make up 11.7% of the state’s population, account for a disproportionate share of infections and deaths, both at 14.6%. And Latino residents, who make up 39.2% of the state’s population, account for more than half the state’s COVID-19 infections, at 50.5%. Of those who died from the coronavirus, 33.6% were Hispanic.

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44. Utah
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (1.1% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 2.8%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 2.4%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: San Juan County (72 per 100,000 county residents)
> San Juan County population: White (43.6%); Black (0.2%); AIAN (47.3%); Asian (0.4%); NHPI (0.3%); Hispanic (5.6%)

Utah reported its first COVID-19 case on March 6 and its first death on March 23. The number of cases have been trending upward at a fairly steady rate since then, with the state reporting a high of 870 new cases on July 9. Although Utah’s Black and Latino populations are relatively small, they have been affected disproportionately.

Black residents make up 2.8% of COVID-19 infections and 2.4% of the deaths, even though they represent only 1.1% of the state’s total population. Latino residents make up 13.9% of the state’s population but account for 46.0% of the coronavirus cases and 25.6% of the deaths.

Source: gnagel / Getty Images

45. Vermont
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Asian (1.7% of pop.)
> Asian share of COVID-19 infections: 4.2%
> Asian share of COVID-19 deaths: 3.6%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Chittenden County (24 per 100,000 county residents)
> Chittenden County population: White (88.8%); Black (2.5%); AIAN (0.2%); Asian (4.2%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (2.3%)

Vermont saw its biggest spike in new COVID-19 cases three months ago, when it reported 72 new cases on April 4. Then the number of new cases began to decline, reaching below 10 per day on June 4 and staying there until July 3. Now the cases appear to be surging slightly, going above 10 per day on some days and below on others.

Coronavirus infections in the state are disproportionately dispersed by race. Vermont has the second smallest population in the country and only 1.7% of state residents are Asian. But Asian Americans represent 3.6% of COVID-19 infections — the highest death-to-population ratio of any race in the state with available data.

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