Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Racial breakdown of COVID-19 cases in every state

  • Racial breakdown of COVID-19 cases in every state

    Although viruses don’t discriminate, humans do, and the conditions created over years of racial and ethnic discrimination have led to a discrepancy when it comes to who is infected and who suffers from it the most. In order to better understand how different racial and ethnic groups are experiencing COVID-19, the COVID Racial Data Tracker has compiled race and ethnicity data reported by state health departments and organized these data into standardized labels.

    Forty-eight states and Washington D.C. report demographic data, and neither Nebraska nor North Dakota reports. In New York, New York City reports its data separately from the rest of the state; the COVID Tracking Project combined these figures.

    Stacker has taken the data from the COVID Tracking Project and included total demographic data for each state from the 2018 American Community Survey estimates and the number of deaths in each state via the COVID Tracking Project to give context. For states with lower case and death counts, race figures may suffer from the law of small numbers. Some states categorize the Hispanic or Latinx population as a racial group, while some categorize it as an ethnic group; in this story, we have standardized to the same combined categories (white alone, Black alone, Asian alone, Hispanic or Latino, etc.) used by the COVID Tracking Project.

    Unsurprisingly, based on the COVID Tracking Project Data, minority groups in most states are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19. This is due to a number of reasons. These groups are more likely to have jobs that don’t allow them to stay home and socially distance. In addition, these communities experience health disparities that lead to higher rates of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and COPD.

    The data in this piece are up-to-date as of May 31, 2020. While numbers of cases rise every day, and increased testing will likely change the rates of infection and death by race and ethnicity, these data show important patterns and deep-seated issues when it comes to rates of COVID-19 infection and death around the country.

    Editor's note: Betsy Ladyzhets, a research associate at Stacker who worked on this story, volunteers for the COVID-19 Tracking Project.

    You may also like: Industries performing best and worst during the coronavirus—and how they're responding

  • Alabama

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 4.9 million total population, 17,903 cases, 631 deaths
    - White alone: 65.4% of state population, 37.6% of cases, 50.3% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 26.8% of state population, 41.3% of cases, 44.0% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 4.4% of state population, 8.8% of cases, 1.9% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 1.5% of state population, 0.5% of cases, 0.5% of deaths
    - Unknown: 16.4% of cases, 4.1% of deaths

    In Alabama, Black and African American residents make up just 26.8% of the state’s population yet are the victims of 44% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths. Due to systemic racism, Black Americans have higher incidence of the kinds of underlying conditions that make people most susceptible to the virus. In addition, Alabama is one of 14 states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, meaning fewer people are able to access health insurance and health care.

    [Pictured: Exterior view of Captain D's advertising alternate methods of ordering during the coronavirus outbreak on March 23 in Montgomery.]

  • Alaska

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 738,516 total population, 434 cases, 10 deaths
    - White alone: 60.3% of state population, 59.6% of cases, 50.0% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 3.8% of state population, 2.8% of cases, 0.0% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 7.2% of state population, 8.7% of cases, 0.0% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 6.6% of state population, 10.0% of cases, 20.0% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 15.4% of state population, 8.9% of cases, 20.0% of deaths
    - Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 1.4% of state population, 3.3% of cases, 10.0% of deaths
    - Unknown: 9.3% of cases, 0.0% of deaths

    Alaska does not have racial data relating to COVID-19 deaths. However, it does have racial data on the number of cases, and three minority groups are experiencing disproportionately high numbers of cases: Hispanic/Latinx, Asian alone, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Native Americans or Alaska Natives, who are disproportionately represented in other states, surprisingly make up 15.4% of Alaska’s population but 8.9% of cases. However, the ACLU sent a letter to Alaska’s governor and department of health asking for better data including death rates by race.

  • Arizona

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 6.9 million total population, 19,936 cases, 906 deaths
    - White alone: 54.4% of state population, 24.9% of cases, 49.0% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 5.1% of state population, 3.7% of cases, 3.2% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 31.6% of state population, 23.7% of cases, 15.7% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 3.7% of state population, 1.0% of cases, 1.3% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 5.3% of state population, 14.9% of cases, 18.8% of deaths
    - Unknown: 29.1% of cases, 10.5% of deaths

    One group that is experiencing the impacts of COVID-19 most acutely is Native Americans. This is especially true in Arizona, where Native Americans or Alaska Natives make up only 5.3% of the total population yet 18.8% of deaths. Arizona is home to a large part of the Navajo Nation, land that spans the northeast area of Arizona along with pieces of New Mexico and Utah. The Navajo Nation is being heavily impacted by the virus; in fact, as of May 18, it passed New York State for the highest rates of COVID-19 per capita in the United States.

  • Arkansas

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 3.0 million total population, 7,253 cases, 133 deaths
    - White alone: 72.2% of state population, 47.7% of cases, 57.1% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 15.7% of state population, 32.7% of cases, 34.6% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 7.7% of state population, 14.2% of cases, 3.8% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 1.7% of state population, 1.0% of cases, 0.8% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 1.0% of state population, 0.4% of cases, deaths data not available
    - Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.4% of state population, 4.1% of cases, 2.3% of deaths
    - Unknown: 7.4% of cases, 0.0% of deaths

    Black and African American people make up only 15.7% of Arkansas’s population yet 32.7% of cases and 34.6% of deaths. Dr. William Greenfield of the Arkansas Department of Health attributed some of this to the socioeconomic status of the Black and African American communities, and that they are more likely to work jobs where social distancing isn’t possible.

  • California

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 39.1 million total population, 110,583 cases, 4,213 deaths
    - White alone: 36.8% of state population, 14.3% of cases, 31.6% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 6.5% of state population, 3.7% of cases, 9.4% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 39.3% of state population, 38.8% of cases, 36.7% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 15.3% of state population, 6.5% of cases, 14.0% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 1.6% of state population, 0.1% of cases, 0.3% of deaths
    - Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.5% of state population, 0.6% of cases, 0.7% of deaths
    - Unknown: 28.9% of cases, 5.9% of deaths

    While California is one of the states with the highest number of cases due to its large population, it has done relatively well per capita, due to quick action and early quarantine measures. The data from the COVID-19 Tracker doesn’t show a huge disparity in deaths by race, but when it comes to the Latinx community, experts warn that the data might be skewed because the population tends to be younger. In addition, it is worth noting that the number of cases for Black and African American residents is 3.7%, their death rate is more than double that—9.4%.

    You may also like: Employment during COVID-19 by the numbers

  • Colorado

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 5.5 million total population, 26,098 cases, 1,443 deaths
    - White alone: 67.9% of state population, 34.1% of cases, 63.6% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 4.6% of state population, 5.8% of cases, 6.7% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 21.7% of state population, 36.9% of cases, 19.4% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 3.5% of state population, 2.6% of cases, 3.7% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 1.6% of state population, 0.5% of cases, 0.5% of deaths
    - Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.2% of state population, 0.4% of cases, 0.4% of deaths
    - Unknown: 18.1% of cases, 4.4% of deaths

    Colorado’s Latinx population is 21.7%, and while the rate of COVID-19 deaths among the population is roughly proportional at 19.4%, its infection rate is disproportionately high at 36.9%. In Denver, Latinx people make up almost half of all COVID-19 cases, despite being just 29.7% of the city’s population, according to Denver Public Health via Denverite reporting on May 1. Latinx people also make up the majority of Denver’s hospitalizations.

  • Connecticut

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 3.6 million total population, 42,201 cases, 3,944 deaths
    - White alone: 66.5% of state population, 33.8% of cases, 73.0% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 12.0% of state population, 12.7% of cases, 14.8% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 16.5% of state population, 17.6% of cases, 8.6% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 4.9% of state population, 1.4% of cases, 0.9% of deaths
    - Unknown: 33.6% of cases, 1.7% of deaths

    In Connecticut, the real issue with the racial data in the state is what is left out: information about Native American populations. Unlike for other states, the COVID-19 Tracker data does not have any section for Native American or Alaska Native. Only 1% of the state’s population is Native American, yet there is no data available for their rates of infection and death, in spite of the fact that these populations have been experiencing disproportionately high infection and death rates in other parts of the country. Meanwhile, the race of 33.6% of Connecticut’s infections is “unknown.”

  • Delaware

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 949,495 total population, 9,498 cases, 366 deaths
    - White alone: 61.9% of state population, 28.7% of cases, 60.1% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 23.0% of state population, 26.5% of cases, 26.5% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 9.5% of state population, 27.6% of cases, 6.3% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 0.0% of state population, 1.5% of cases, 0.3% of deaths
    - Unknown: 10.6% of cases, 5.7% of deaths

    Delaware’s Black and African American population is experiencing a slightly disproportionately high infection and death rate. While they make up 23% of the state’s population, they make up 26.5% of the state’s cases and 26.5% of its death. In addition, while the Hispanic and Latinx community actually have a slightly low death rate—6.3% of the state’s total in comparison with being 9.5% of its population—it has a very high infection rate: 27.6%. Communities of color in the state experience higher rates of diabetes and heart disease along with higher likelihood of unemployment or incarceration.

  • District of Columbia

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 684,498 total population, 8,801 cases, 466 deaths
    - White alone: 37.1% of state population, 15.3% of cases, 11.2% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 46.4% of state population, 46.6% of cases, 74.9% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 11.3% of state population, 26.5% of cases, 11.6% of deaths
    - Asian alone: 4.4% of state population, 1.2% of cases, 1.5% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 0.6% of state population, 0.3% of cases, deaths data not available
    - Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1% of state population, 0.2% of cases, deaths data not available
    - Unknown: 11.0% of cases, 0.0% of deaths

    In our nation’s capital, the people hit hardest by COVID-19 are without a doubt those in the Black or African American community. They make up 46.4% of the population and a proportional 46.6% of its cases, yet they make up 74.9% of its deaths. Washington D.C., while a diverse city as a whole, is very segregated between its neighborhoods. The majority Black neighborhoods were already experiencing poorer health outcomes, making them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

  • Florida

    State COVID-19 statistics as of May 31: 20.6 million total population, 56,163 cases, 2,534 deaths
    - White alone: 53.5% of state population, 27.2% of cases, 50.1% of deaths
    - Black or African American alone: 16.9% of state population, 19.2% of cases, 21.2% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 26.1% of state population, 34.9% of cases, 22.2% of deaths
    - Unknown: 15.0% of cases, 3.3% of deaths

    Florida’s Black and African American population make up 16.9% of the population yet constitute 19.2% of cases and 21.2% of deaths. However, in some parts of Florida, the discrepancy is even starker. In Escambia County as of May 22, 36% of cases were in African Americans, even though they only make up 22% of the county’s population. In addition, in that county, 50% of hospitalizations and 50% of deaths were African Americans.

    [Pictured: An aerial drone view shows Robert "Raven" Kraft running alone on the closed beach after being granted special permission by city officials on May 27 in Miami Beach.]

    You may also like: How the new stimulus bill plans to increase relief to families, essential workers, and the unemployed