Special Report

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

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6. Colorado
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (3.9% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 6.5%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 7.1%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Morgan County (163 per 100,000 county residents)
> Morgan County population: White (58.7%); Black (3.2%); AIAN (0.2%); Asian (0.6%); NHPI (0.1%); Hispanic (35.9%)

Four of the five counties with the most COVID-19 related deaths per capita in Colorado are home to far larger than average shares of minority populations. In Denver County, where there have been 57 coronavirus deaths for every 100,000 people — third highest of counties in the state and well above the 39 COVID-19 deaths for every 100,000 people nationwide — 10.3% of the population identifies as Black, compared to 3.2% of the total population across Colorado. Similarly, in Arapahoe County, which is 9.0% Black, there have been 55 deaths for every 100,000 people.

Meanwhile, in Morgan and Weld counties, 38.9% and 29.2% of residents identify as Hispanic or Latino — far larger shares than the 21.4% of the total Colorado population who do. In these counties, there have been 163 and 47 COVID-19 deaths for every 100,000 people, respectively — nearly 5.5 times the state death rate of 30 deaths per 100,000 people.

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7. Connecticut
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (9.8% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 19.0%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 15.2%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Hartford County (155 per 100,000 county residents)
> Hartford County population: White (61.9%); Black (12.8%); AIAN (0.2%); Asian (5.2%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (17.6%)

Since the end of April, the numbers of new cases in Connecticut have declined and remained relatively steady in July. Earlier in the pandemic the state was such a hot spot that it still ranks eighth among the 50 states in total number of COVID-19 deaths, even though the state is 29th in total population. Only two states, New Jersey and New York, have a higher rate of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Although Black residents make up 9.8% of Connecticut’s population, the Black population accounts for 15.2% of COVID-19 deaths and 19% of known cases. Hartford County, in the northern part of the state, and Fairfield County, in the southern part of the state, go back and forth as the county with the most deaths. Hartford County’s population is 15.8% Black; Fairfield County’s is 12.9% Black.

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8. Delaware
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (21.6% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 29.6%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 27.0%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Sussex County (80 per 100,000 county residents)
> Sussex County population: White (75.0%); Black (12.2%); AIAN (0.3%); Asian (1.2%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (9.1%)

Delaware, the sixth least populous state, ranks 33rd in the total number of COVID-19 deaths with 517 as of July 13. When adjusting for population — the number of deaths per 100,000 residents — the state moves up 11th of all states. Like other states in the Northeast, Delaware, which has only three counties, has slowed the fatality rate, with two deaths in the seven days ending July 13.

The coronavirus has had a bigger impact on Delaware’s Black residents relative to their share of the population. Blacks make up 21.6% of the state’s population but account for 27.0% of its COVID-19 deaths and 29.6% of known infections. The disparity is not as wide as it is in some other states, but it is still significant. In the early weeks of the pandemic, more than half of the laboratories did not ask the race or ethnicity of people who were tested. As it became clear that people of color across the country were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, Gov. John Carney mandated that data on race and ethnicity be collected.

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9. Florida
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (15.4% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 23.4%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 21.8%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Hendry County (72 per 100,000 county residents)
> Hendry County population: White (32.7%); Black (11.0%); AIAN (1.4%); Asian (0.8%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (52.9%)

The current epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., Florida was forced to close its Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee on July 16 after 12 workers tested positive for COVID-19. Blacks represent 15.4% of the state’s population but make up 21.8% of known coronavirus deaths and 23.4% of cases. Latino residents make up 25.2% of Florida’s population but have 42.3% of the positive COVID-19 tests and 27.8% of the coronavirus deaths.

Of the state’s 67 counties, Hendry, in southern Florida, has been hit the hardest with a death rate of 72.3 per 100,000 residents. According to Florida Politics, the part of Hendry County most affected is an unincorporated area known as Immokalee. In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Immokalee was 72.1% Hispanic (of any race), 21.7% Black and 4.8% non-Hispanic white.

10. Georgia
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (31.0% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 39.9%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 46.7%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Hancock County (387 per 100,000 county residents)
> Hancock County population: White (24.2%); Black (72.3%); AIAN (0.0%); Asian (0.9%); NHPI (0.2%); Hispanic (1.9%)

Though Black Americans account for just 31% of Georgia’s population, the Black population accounts for nearly 47% of all COVID-19 deaths in the state. Georgia is home to the four counties with the highest concentration of coronavirus deaths in the United States — Hancock, Randolph, Terrell, and Early counties. In these areas, deaths range from 300 to 387 for every 100,000 people — compared to the state and nationwide case fatality rates of 29 and 39 deaths per 100,000 people. Each of these counties has majority Black populations.

The economic and public health toll of the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting lower-income households. Across Georgia, the typical Black household earns $42,085 a year, much lower than the income of a typical white household of $63,543. In each of the four majority Black counties with the highest COVID-19 death toll, the income disparity along racial lines is even more pronounced.