How are equity-seeking communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Bottom Line:

Communities of colour face increased financial and health risks associated with COVID-19 due to economic and social circumstances.


Artiga, S. et al. Communities of Color at Higher Risk for Health and Economic Challenges due to COVID-19. KFF Disparities Policy (2020). Retrieved from:

Date Published:

7 April 2020


The COVID-19 outbreak presents potential health and financial challenges for families, which disproportionately affect communities of colour and compound underlying health and economic disparities. Communities of colour are at increased risk for experiencing serious illness when infected due to higher rates of underlying health conditions, and the increased challenges they face for testing and treatment due to an associated likelihood of being uninsured. Early data has suggested that COVID-19 disproportionately affects groups of colour. For one, in the District of Columbia, Blacks make up 45% of the total population, but accounted for 59% of deaths as of April 6, 2020. Comprehensive data by race and ethnicity will be key for understanding the impacts of COVID-19 across communities and on health and economic disparities going forward. Although some states and localities are reporting data by race and ethnicity, as of early April, the CDC was not reporting data by race and ethnicity and these data were not available widely across states.

Summary by: David Lee