Black Americans More Vulnerable to Coronavirus, Racial Data Show

In Milwaukee, black Americans make up 26 percent of the county, but a maddening 81 percent of deaths as of Friday

SoDATA — The coronavirus pandemic seems to be hitting people of color the hardest in US, racial data show.

In Michigan, black Americans comprise 14.1 percent of the state population, but an ungodly 40 percent of coronavirus deaths. In Washtenaw County, home to Ann Arbor, 48 percent of residents hospitalized with the coronavirus are black, though black people make up only 11 percent of the county. In Illinois, the infection rate among black Americans is twice their percentage of the state population. In North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, black people comprise 32.9 percent of the residents, but 43.9 of the confirmed coronavirus cases, as of March 30. In Milwaukee, black Americans make up 26 percent of the county, but a maddening 81 percent of deaths as of Friday.

What about Latinos and Asians?

On April 1, The New York Times released data on the number of coronavirus cases per 1,000 people for every zip code in NYC. Using Census Reporter, the study shows the racial makeup of the zip codes with the highest and lowest coronavirus rates per 1,000 people in NYC.

Queens zip code 11370 has the city’s highest rate of confirmed infections, with 12 cases per 1,000 people; the neighborhoods it includes are 37 percent Latino, 25 percent white, 22 percent Asian, and 14 percent black. In the adjacent zip code of 11369, which has the city’s second-highest rate of confirmed infections with 10 cases per 1,000 people, the population is 64 percent Latino, 15 percent black, 12 percent Asian, and 8 percent white.

New York City is 32.1 percent white, 29.1 percent Latino, 24.3 percent black, and 13.9 percent Asian, according to census data. But averaging out the racial composition of the five New York City zip codes with the highest coronavirus rates shows a significant overrepresentation of Latinos (45.8 percent) and Asians (23.4 percent), and a significant underrepresentation of whites (21.2 percent) and blacks (8 percent) when compared with their citywide populations.

Does this mean Latinos and Asians are being infected with, and dying from, COVID-19 at higher rates than other New Yorkers? We don’t know for certain, but it sure seems that way.

Out of the total Coronavirus Cases reported in US — 367,385 and 10,876 deaths, three major cities: New York, New Jersey and Michigan had more fatalities than the rest: 4,758(NY); 1003(NJ); 727(MI).

New York-New Jersey leads all metro areas in black population size and has a higher life-expectancy than other states.

A child born today in New York City can expect to live for 82.3 years. If New York City were a country, it would rank eighth in life expectancy, tied with Sweden. Foreign-born New Yorkers can expect to live six years longer, on average, than those born in the United States.

The recently released U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2018 indicate that, for the nation as a whole, Hispanic residents comprise 18.3% of the population. The shares for black and Asian residents are 12.5% and 5.9%, respectively.[1]

The original report appeared in The Atlantic