COVID-19 Racial Disparities in U.S. Counties


Discrete state and city data sources show that Black Americans may be at elevated risk for COVID-19 infection and death, but (as of April 15, 2020) the race/ethnicity of 78% of current diagnoses nationally were 'unknown'. Because alternative methods are needed to estimate the impact of COVID-19 in black communities, we compared COVID-19 cases and deaths in above average (i.e. > 13% of the population) black counties versus all other US counties. Roughly one in five counties nationally is disproportionately black and only represent 35% of the US population, but we found that these counties accounted for nearly half of COVID-19 cases and 58% of COVID-19 deaths. Structural factors including health care access, density of households, unemployment , pervasive discrimination and others drive these disparities, not intrinsic characteristics of black communities or individual-level factors. This webpage provides additional information on these counties at greater risk for COVID-19 through graphs and maps, and data are updated daily.

The peer-reviewed paper, Assessing Differential Impacts of COVID-19 on Black Communities was published by the Annals of Epidemiology. This study was made possible through a collaborative effort that included:

COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by County Since First U.S. Case Detected

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COVID-19 Cases
COVID-19 Deaths
Structural Factors

Comparing COVID-19 Cases by Percent of Black Population

The likelihood of COVID-19 diagnoses increase with the proportion of black residents across US counties. These data include cases reported as of April 12, 2020.

Source: Emory University as part of Assessing Differential Impacts of COVID-19 on Black Communities analysis.

Counties with Above Average Black Populations

Percent of U.S. Counties

    Percent of U.S. Population

      Trends in COVID-19 Cases Comparing Counties with Above Average Black Populations and All Other Counties

      Trends in COVID-19 Deaths Comparing Counties with Above Average Black Populations and All Other Counties

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