Black Americans continue to experience the highest actual COVID-19 mortality rates

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THE COLOR OF CORONAVIRUS:
COVID-19 DEATHS BY RACE AND ETHNICITY IN THE U.S.

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Our ongoing Color of Coronavirus project monitors how and where COVID-19 mortality is inequitably impacting certain communities—to guide policy and community responses to these disproportionate deaths. The coronavirus has claimed more than 217,000 American lives through Oct. 13, 2020—about 22,000 more than our last update four weeks ago, averaging nearly 800 deaths per day. We know the race and ethnicity for 97% of the cumulative deaths in the United States.

Our latest update reveals continued wide disparities by race, most dramatically for Black and Indigenous Americans. We also adjust these mortality rates for age, a common and important tool that health researchers use to compare diseases that affect age groups differently. This results in even larger mortality disparities observed between Black, Indigenous and other populations of color relative to Whites, who experience the lowest age-adjusted rates nationally. Age-adjusting elevates the mortality rate for Latinos more than any other group—revealing that COVID-19 is stealing far more Latino lives than we would expect despite this group’s relative youthfulness.

New with this update, we present mortality data over time for all states—not just cumulatively—to help us monitor the virus’ changing impacts throughout fall and winter.


The APM Research Lab has independently compiled these death statistics. (Learn more about how.) The result is the most robust and up-to-date portrait of COVID-19 mortality by race available anywhere, with a lens on inequitable deaths. We have been tracking these deaths for six months now, revealing COVID-19’s growing toll on all Americans, but with the heaviest losses among Black and Indigenous Americans.

KEY FINDINGS (from data through Oct. 13):

  • These are the documented, nationwide actual mortality impacts from COVID-19 data (aggregated from all U.S. states and the District of Columbia) for all race groups:

    • 1 in 920 Black Americans has died (or 108.4 deaths per 100,000)

    • 1 in 1,110 Indigenous Americans has died (or 90.0 deaths per 100,000)

    • 1 in 1,360 Latino Americans has died (or 73.5 deaths per 100,000)

    • 1 in 1,450 Pacific Islander Americans has died (or 68.9 deaths per 100,000).
      Note that this rate declined slightly from our prior update due to the new inclusion of data for the state of Hawaii, which was not previously available, in its calculation.

    • 1 in 1,840 White Americans has died (or 54.4 deaths per 100,000)

    • 1 in 2,200 Asian Americans has died (or 45.4 deaths per 100,000)

  • Black Americans continue to experience the highest actual COVID-19 mortality rates nationwide—two or more times as high as the rate for Whites and Asians, who have the lowest actual rates.

If they had died of COVID-19 at the same actual
rate as White Americans, about 21,800 Black,
11,400 Latino, 750 Indigenous and 65 Pacific Islander Americans would still be alive.

  • Adjusting the data for age differences in race groups widens the gap in the overall mortality rates between all other groups and Whites, who have the lowest rate. Compared to Whites, the latest U.S. age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rate for:

    • Blacks is 3.2 times as high

    • Latinos is 3.2 times as high

    • Indigenous people is 3.1 times as high

    • Pacific Islanders is 2.4 times as high, and

    • Asians is 1.2 times as high.

(A fuller discussion of our indirectly age-adjusted rates follows.)


HOW TO EXAMINE THE DATA:

1. EXPLORE CUMULATIVE MORTALITY RATES BY GEOGRAPHY, COMPARING GROUPS

We’ve presented the data we’ve collected for the nation overall and each state as:

2. EXPLORE NUMBER OF DEATHS OR RATES OVER TIME, COMPARING GROUPS

Explore actual mortality rates and total deaths by race and ethnicity for any state or Washington, D.C., beginning in early June 2020.

3. EXPLORE CUMULATIVE FINDINGS BY GROUP, COMPARING GEOGRAPHIES

Examine the differences for one group at a time across all states with available data. For each group, we provide contextual data and a visual comparison against White Americans’ rates using the age-adjusted data, to examine where disparities relative to Whites are the greatest.

INDIGENOUS AMERICANS | ASIAN AMERICANS | BLACK AMERICANS | LATINO AMERICANS |
WHITE AMERICANS | NATIVE HAWAIIAN & OTHER PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICANS

For more context about the shortcomings of some of the data, please read our note about Indigenous, Pacific Islander, Multiracial and Other Race Americans. If you’d like to examine the percentage of deaths compared to the percentage of population by racial group for each state (which previously appeared on this site), you can find this data in our complete data file.


+ UNDERSTANDING AGE-ADJUSTED MORTALITY RATES

Click to read more


CUMULATIVE MORTALITY RATES:

Review cumulative mortality rates—both actual and age-adjusted—for the District of Columbia or any state by changing the dropdown menu below. Rates were not calculated when there were fewer than 15 deaths for a particular group (resulting in a “0” value in the graph below). Rates for Indigenous and Pacific Islander residents could only be calculated for some states. Additionally, rates were not calculated for multiracial people, nor those identified as “Other” race.

VIEW THE AGE-ADJUSTED RATES

COVID-19 DEATHS PER 100,000 PEOPLE, THROUGH OCT. 13, 2020

* Includes all available data from Washington, D.C., and the 50 states. Users are cautioned that the Indigenous rate is calculated from just 35 states reporting Indigenous deaths, and the Pacific Islander rate from just 16 states reporting such deaths. States employ varying collection methods regarding ethnicity data. Denominator is built from data aggregated from each state, aligned with their method. Users are cautioned that states do not uniformly report Indigenous, Pacific Islander and other deaths, and many of these deaths are represented in “Other” race.

ACTUAL MORTALITY RATES OVER TIME

RATES OF DEATH FROM COVID-19 (PER 100,000 PEOPLE) IN ALL STATES, JUNE 9-OCT. 13, 2020


COUNTS OR ESTIMATES OF DEATHS BY RACE & ETHNICITY

Explore how the distribution of American lives lost varies by race and ethnicity, beginning with totals in early June. Select a state to see the cumulative trend graphed similarly.

CUMULATIVE U.S. COVID-19 DEATHS BY RACE/ETHNICITY IN ALL STATES, JUNE 9-OCT. 13, 2020

Users can examine the cumulative death totals, grouped by racial and ethnic group, for their state(s) of interest below. Depending on the geography, the “Other” group in this graph may include Indigenous people, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders, Multiracial people, those identified as “Other” race, and in a few cases, Asians. (This is due to uneven reporting by states.) Please see the notes below the graph, or request our complete data file for additional information.

COVID-19 DEATHS BY RACE AND ETHNICITY, THROUGH OCT. 13, 2020

* Includes all available data from Washington, D.C., and the 50 states. States employ varying collection methods regarding ethnicity data. Our sum is built from data aggregated from each state, aligned with their method. Users are cautioned that states do not uniformly report Indigenous, Pacific Islander and other deaths, and many of these deaths are represented in “Other” race.

FOCUS ON INDIGENOUS AMERICANS

Lives lost to date

  • 1,886 Indigenous Americans are known to have lost their lives to COVID-19 through Tuesday, Oct. 13. This is an increase of 243 deaths among Indigenous people compared to our last report four weeks earlier, and includes data from three additional areas (the balance of New York outside of New York City, Texas and Vermont).

    (Note: This total is a known under-count. Numerous states report Indigenous deaths in the Other category, so we cannot see those numbers uniquely.)

  • Indigenous Americans have experienced 1.2% of the deaths of known race (in 36 states reporting one or more Indigenous deaths), but represent 0.8% of the population in those states.

Actual mortality rate

  • For each 100,000 Americans (of their respective group), about 90 Indigenous people have died from the coronavirus, a mortality rate well above Asians (45) and Whites (54), and somewhat above Pacific Islanders (69) and Latinos (74). Only Blacks (108) have a higher actual mortality rate.

    (Note: Users are cautioned that the overall mortality rate for Indigenous people was constructed from 36 states reporting such deaths, while most other rates reflect additional geographies in the U.S.)

Age-adjusted mortality rate

  • Nationwide, Indigenous people are 3.1 times more likely to have died than Whites, when age is taken into account.

  • Adjusted for age, Arizona, New Mexico and (especially) Mississippi have seen the greatest absolute disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates between their White and Indigenous residents. Mississippi has experienced 87 deaths among its Indigenous residents, which number fewer than 13,000 statewide.

  • The graph below shows age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rates for Indigenous residents compared to White residents by state, sorted from the largest to smallest gap. Rates are calculated for all states with 15 or more deaths. In every state shown, Indigenous mortality outpaces White mortality.


FOCUS ON ASIAN AMERICANS

Lives lost to date

  • 8,182 Asian Americans are known to have lost their lives to COVID-19 through Tuesday, Oct. 13. This is an increase of 884 deaths among Asians compared to our last report four weeks earlier.

  • Nationwide Asian Americans have experienced 4.0% of all deaths of known race, while they represent 5.7% of the population.

    (Notes: Missouri and South Carolina include Asians in their “Other” category. Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma and Wisconsin report deaths for Asians and Pacific Islanders jointly, so they are presented together for those states.)

Actual mortality rate

  • For each 100,000 Americans (of their respective group), about 45 Asians have died from the coronavirus, a mortality rate slightly below Whites (54), somewhat below Pacific Islanders (69) and Latinos (74), and half or less than half the rates for Indigenous people (90) and Blacks (108).

Age-adjusted mortality rate

  • Nationwide, Asians are 1.2 times more likely to have died than Whites, when age is taken into account.

  • Adjusted for age, Minnesota, Nebraska and (especially) New York state have seen the greatest absolute disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates between their White and Asian residents.

  • Of note, Asian mortality rates are lower than Whites in nine states, most dramatically in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

  • The graph below shows age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rates for Asian residents compared to White residents by state, sorted from the largest to smallest (or negative) gap. Rates are calculated for all states with 15 or more deaths.


FOCUS ON BLACK AMERICANS

Lives lost to date

  • 43,844 Black Americans are known to have lost their lives to COVID-19 through Tuesday, Oct. 13. This is an increase of 4,126 deaths among Blacks compared to our last report four weeks earlier.

  • Nationwide, Black Americans have experienced 20.8% of all deaths of known race, but represent 12.4% of the population.

Actual mortality rate

  • For each 100,000 Americans (of their respective group), about 108 Blacks have died from the coronavirus, the highest actual mortality rate of all groups—above Asians (45), Whites (54), Pacific Islanders (69), Latinos (74) and Indigenous people (90).

Age-adjusted mortality rate

  • Nationwide, Blacks are 3.2 times more likely to have died than Whites, when age is taken into account.

  • Adjusted for age, New Jersey, Michigan and New York state have seen the greatest absolute disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates between their White and Black residents.

  • The graph below shows age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rates for Black residents compared to White residents by state, sorted from the largest to smallest gap. Rates are calculated for all states with 15 or more deaths. In every state shown, Black mortality outpaces White mortality.


FOCUS ON LATINO AMERICANS

Lives lost to date

  • 43,953 Latino Americans are known to have lost their lives to COVID-19 through Tuesday, Oct. 13. This is an increase of 5,257 deaths among Latinos compared to our last report four weeks earlier.

  • Latino Americans have experienced 20.9% of all deaths of known race, but represent 18.3% of the population.

Actual mortality rate

  • For each 100,000 Americans (of their respective group), about 74 Latinos have died from the coronavirus, a mortality rate considerably above Asians (45) and Whites (54), slightly above Pacific Islanders (69), somewhat below Indigenous people (90) and well below Blacks (108).

Age-adjusted mortality rate

  • Nationwide, Latinos are 3.2 times more likely to have died than Whites, when age is taken into account.

  • Adjusted for age, New Jersey, the District of Columbia and (especially) New York state have seen the greatest absolute disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates between their White and Latino residents.

  • The graph below shows age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rates for Latino residents compared to White residents by state, sorted from the largest to smallest gap. Rates are calculated for all states with 15 or more deaths. In every state shown, Latino mortality outpaces White mortality.


FOCUS ON WHITE AMERICANS

Lives lost to date

  • 109,137 White Americans are known to have lost their lives to COVID-19 through Tuesday, Oct. 13. This is an increase of 15,040 deaths among Whites compared to our last report four weeks earlier.

  • White Americans have experienced 51.9% of all deaths with known race, but represent 61.4% of the population.

Actual mortality rate

  • For each 100,000 Americans (of their respective group), about 54 Whites have died from the coronavirus, a mortality rate slightly above Asians (45), somewhat below Pacific Islanders (69) and Latinos (74), and well below Indigenous people (90) and Blacks (108).

Age-adjusted mortality rate

  • Nationwide, Whites have the lowest mortality rate of all racial and ethnic groups, when age is taken into account.

  • Adjusted for age, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey have experienced the highest COVID-19 mortality rate among their White residents, while Vermont, Alaska and Wyoming have experienced the lowest rates (among states with 15 or more deaths reported).

  • The graph below shows age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rates for White residents by state, sorted from the highest to lowest toll.


FOCUS ON PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICANS

Lives lost to date

  • 305 Pacific Islander Americans are known to have lost their lives to COVID-19 through Tuesday, Oct. 13. This reflects an increase of 87 deaths among Pacific Islanders compared to our last report four weeks earlier, but includes data from Hawaii for the first time (accounting for 46 deaths).

    (Note: This total is a known under-count. Numerous states report Pacific Islander deaths in the Other category, so we cannot see those numbers uniquely.)

  • Pacific Islander Americans have experienced 0.5% of all deaths of known race (in 16 states reporting one or more deaths), but represent 0.3% of the population in those states.

Actual mortality rate

  • For each 100,000 Americans (of their respective group), about 69 Pacific Islanders have died from the coronavirus, an actual mortality rate well above Asians (45) and Whites (54), slightly below Latinos (74), somewhat below Indigenous Americans (90) and well below Blacks (108).

    (Note: Users are cautioned that the overall mortality rate for Pacific Islander people was constructed from only 16 states reporting such deaths, while other rates reflect additional geographies in the U.S.)

Age-adjusted mortality rate

  • Nationwide, Pacific Islanders are 2.4 times more likely to have died than Whites, when age is taken into account.

  • Adjusted for age, Arkansas has the highest COVID-19 mortality rate among its Pacific Islander residents. Forty-five Pacific Islanders are known to have died of the virus there. Fewer than 10,000 Pacific Islanders in total live in Arkansas, resulting in the exceedingly high death rate.

  • The graph below shows age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rates for Pacific Islander residents compared to White residents by state, sorted from the largest to smallest gap. Rates are calculated for all states with 15 or more deaths. In every such state, Pacific Islander mortality outpaces White mortality.


NOTE ABOUT INDIGENOUS, PACIFIC ISLANDER, MULTIRACIAL & OTHER RACE AMERICANS

COVID-19 mortality data for Americans who are Indigenous, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders, Some Other race, or Multiracial is inconsistently reported by many states. Users may request our complete data file to better understand the loss of life in these groups as well. Users are cautioned that Indigenous and Pacific Islander people appear in the “Other” group in many states, along with Multiracial Americans and in a few cases, Asian Americans. We continue to advocate for complete, consistent reporting for all racial and ethnic groups.


HOW DID THE APM RESEARCH LAB OBTAIN THE DATA?

The APM Research Lab has independently compiled and analyzed these mortality data for Washington, D.C. and all states. At the time of this writing, only North Dakota and West Virginia did not yet publicly release COVID-19 mortality data by race and ethnicity on their state health department websites. For these two states, we have supplemented our data file using data reported to the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the CDC. Note that these data have some time lag and often suppress (hide) data, especially for groups other than Whites. Nonetheless, their inclusion improves the picture of COVID-19 mortality for the entire United States.

In the case where a state is publicly releasing its mortality data, but the CDC data was found to be more robust, we have also opted to use the CDC data. This is the case for the following states: Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as the balance of New York outside of New York City (which is reported separately). The result is the most comprehensive and up-to-date portrait of COVID-19 mortality by race and ethnicity for the U.S.

Racial detail on Americans who have died of COVID-19 was available for 97% of all deaths to date—a vast improvement from the 38% that were known when our Color of Coronavirus project began tracking these data in early April.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 13, more than 217,000 Americans had died of COVID-19. Data about race and ethnicity is available for 97% of these deaths.


However, it should be noted that even among states releasing COVID-19 data by the race of the deceased, the data is often incomplete or nonuniform. Numerous states release only percentages, not counts of deaths, requiring us to estimate the data rather than know precisely how communities have been affected. Many states also fail to report smaller populations uniquely, obscuring the picture for Indigenous Americans, Pacific Islanders and other groups. All of these reporting shortcomings render our picture of the virus’ toll incomplete and make it more difficult to assess the disproportionate impacts on communities.

We call on state and local health departments to release timely data about COVID-19 deaths with as complete racial and ethnic detail as is possible. As the data reporting improves, so too will our understanding of the devastating impact of this disease. This will inform states and communities about how to direct resources more equitably as well.



SOURCES
State and local health department or other governmental reporting bodies, and the National Center for Health Statistics. In a few cases, we have upwardly revised total counts of deaths (not by race) to conform with the New York Times’ latest database. Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey were used for calculations regarding population by race/ethnicity and age. Importantly, we have aligned population data with each geography’s method of collecting and reporting data (i.e., if Latino ethnicity is overlapping with race groups or discrete, and whether race groups are reported “alone” or “alone or in combination”). All calculations and subsequent analysis by APM Research Lab.
NOTES
Deaths of unknown race are excluded prior to calculating percentages and rates. Presumed or probable deaths due to COVID-19 are included here in our death counts. Many of the data sources have labeled their data preliminary. In some cases, percentages will differ from those given by health departments due to our method of excluding deaths with an unknown race from the denominator before calculating percentages. Additionally states employ varying collection methods regarding ethnicity data, which results in percentages summing to more than 100%. Where states have reported only percentages, we have estimated deaths by racial subgroups; these deaths may differ by small amounts from actual due to rounding errors. States can improve this reporting by releasing complete data.
Data for Indigenous, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, and other races are tallied separately in some states, but exist in “other” in other states, due to inconsistent reporting among states.
Mortality rates are presented in two ways on this page: 1) As “crude” rates, meaning no adjustment has been made to standardize varying age distributions in the populations. These are labeled “actual mortality rates,” as they reflect the actual death rates experienced in the population groups. 2) As indirectly age-adjusted mortality rates. Because the White population is older on balance in nearly all locations, age-adjusting generally widens disparities between Whites and other populations.
To create our age-adjusted death rates by race and ethnicity, we first calculated an “expected” death rate for each race group by state and the nation overall. We did so by multiplying the latest national age-specific death rates from COVID-19 by age-specific population shares for each race group within each of the geographies (sourced from the 2018 American Community Survey). We then divided the crude death rates for each race and geography by the expected race-based death rate we calculated (resulting in Standard Mortality Ratios), and finally multiplied by the nationwide overall crude death rate. The result is an Indirect Adjusted Death Rate (IADR) of COVID-19 by race.
We indirectly adjusted these data for age because direct age-adjustment was not possible; timely and complete COVID-19 mortality data by race and age group is not being released for all or even most states. However, users are cautioned that indirect standardization is done to approximate the impact resulting from varying age distributions in cases because age-specific death rates are not available. Indirect standardization may deviate more from directly age-adjusted rates when comparing two populations that differ significantly in their age distribution, as race groups may. For this reason, data from individual states that are directly age-adjusted should be considered superior. For more on direct and indirect methods of standardization see this CDC publication.

 

 

Continue at:  https://www.apmresearchlab.org/covid/deaths-by-race

 

 

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