Special Report

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

Source: Sharon Chischilly / Getty Images News via Getty Images

31. New Mexico
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: American Indian and Alaska Native (8.8% of pop.)
> AIAN share of COVID-19 infections: 47.0%
> AIAN share of COVID-19 deaths: 59.3%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: McKinley County (262 per 100,000 county residents)
> McKinley County population: White (8.8%); Black (0.6%); AIAN (73.7%); Asian (1.0%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (14.3%)

In New Mexico, the counties hit hardest by the coronavirus also have the largest relative Native American populations. In Cibola and San Juan counties, COVID-19 deaths per capita are at least double the statewide rate of 26 deaths per 100,000. Native Americans comprise 39.0% and 38.1% of these counties’ populations, respectively. Statewide, Native Americans make up 8.8% of the population.

And McKinley County, where 73.7% of the population is Native American, is by far the hardest hit, reporting a staggering 262 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people.

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images News via Getty Images

32. New York
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (14.3% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: N/A
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 27.2%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Bronx County (232 per 100,000 county residents)
> Bronx County population: White (9.3%); Black (29.3%); AIAN (0.2%); Asian (3.5%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (55.9%)

Early in the global pandemic, New York became the epicenter of the disease. New York succeeded in bringing down the numbers of new infections and deaths and is now one of the few places in the country where, at least for now, the outbreak seems to be under some sort of control.

New York’s population is 14.3% Black and 18.9% Latino. But Black residents accounted for 27.2% of the COVID-19 fatalities, and Latino residents made up 28.7% of the deaths. Information was unavailable for the number of cases by race.

The Bronx County, Queens County, and Kings County (Brooklyn) were the areas of the state where the numbers of deaths per 100,000 people were the highest. The three boroughs of New York City are among the most racially diverse places in the state.

Source: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images News via Getty Images

33. North Carolina
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (21.1% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 28.8%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 34.9%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Vance County (90 per 100,000 county residents)
> Vance County population: White (40.0%); Black (49.9%); AIAN (0.3%); Asian (0.6%); NHPI (0.1%); Hispanic (7.6%)

Black Americans account for about one in every five North Carolina residents. However, the state’s Black population accounts for more than one in every three known coronavirus deaths in the state. In Vance County, where COVID-19 deaths have been most concentrated in the state, half of the population is Black.

In June, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper explained how entrenched inequality related to housing, access to health care, and economic opportunity is contributing to the COVID-19 disparity in outcomes along racial lines. Cooper established a task force to address these underlying issues.

34. North 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: Cass County (41 per 100,000 county residents)
> Cass County population: White (86.1%); Black (5.1%); AIAN (0.9%); Asian (3.0%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (2.6%)

North Dakota is the only state that does not report race and ethnicity data related to COVID-19 infections and deaths. Only three states — Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming — have smaller populations than North Dakota’s 752,201. Only 2.7% of the state’s population is Black, and 5.1% is American Indian or Alaska Native.

North Dakota is seeing a surge in COVID-19 infections, which has coincided with the reopening of such businesses as bars and restaurants. The state ranks 35th in number of deaths per 100,000 population, at 11.4. Cass County, home to Fargo, the state’s largest city, has the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths with 1,430.5 cases per 100,000 people and 41.3 deaths per 100,000. It also is the county with the highest percentage of Black residents, at 6.3%.

Source: Wendy Van / Getty Images

35. Ohio
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (12.2% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 34.4%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 19.8%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Monroe County (121 per 100,000 county residents)
> Monroe County population: White (97.3%); Black (0.3%); AIAN (0.0%); Asian (0.4%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (1.1%)

After experiencing a spike in COVID-19 infections in April, Ohio succeeded in bringing down the number of new cases in May and June. Now, cases are spiking again, rising even higher than they were in April.

Although Ohio’s population is 12.2% black, Black residents account for 34.4% of new COVID-19 infections. Of the 3,064 coronavirus deaths through July 13, 19.8% of the fatalities were Black.