Risk for COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death By Race/Ethnicity

Risk for COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death By Race/Ethnicity
Updated Apr. 16, 2021
Race and ethnicity are risk markers for other underlying conditions that impact health
Rate ratios compared to White, Non-Hispanic persons American Indian or Alaska Native, Non-Hispanic persons Asian, Non-Hispanic persons Black or African American, Non-Hispanic persons Hispanic or Latino persons
Cases1 1.6x 0.7x 1.1x 2.0x
Hospitalization2 3.5x 1.0x 2.8x 3.0x
Death3 2.4x 1.0x 1.9x 2.3x

Race and ethnicity are risk markers for other underlying conditions that affect health including socioeconomic status, access to health care, and exposure to the virus related to occupation, e.g., frontline, essential, and critical infrastructure workers.

How to slow the spread of COVID–19

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Wear a mask
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Stay 6 feet apart
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Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
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Wash your hands

1 Data Source: Data reported by state and territorial jurisdictions (accessed 04/11/2021). Numbers are ratios of age-adjusted rates standardized to the 2019 US intercensal population estimate. Calculations use only the 61% of case reports that have race and ethnicity data available; this can result in inaccurate estimates of the relative risk among groups.

2 Data source: COVID-NET (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covid-net/purpose-methods.html, accessed March 1, 2020, through April 3, 2021). Numbers are ratios of age-adjusted rates standardized to the 2019 US standard COVID-NET catchment population.

3 Data source: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) provisional death counts (https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-Death-Counts-for-Coronavirus-Disease-C/pj7m-y5uh, data through April 3, 2021). Numbers are ratios of age-adjusted rates standardized to the 2019 US intercensal population estimate.

Note: Adjusting by age is important because risk of infection, hospitalization, and death is different by age, and age distribution differs by racial and ethnic group. If the effect of age is not accounted for, racial and ethnic disparities can be under- or over-estimated.

chart depicting Risk for COVID-19 by race/ethnicity COVID-19_RiskForSevereDisease_Race_Ethnicity_4.14_p2

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