This study shows that Black women are dying of COVID-19 at rates higher than men in other racial/ethnic groups. The study is the first to quantify the inequities in COVID-19 mortality looking at both race and sex group and analyzing the sex-disparity in COVID-19 mortality across racial groups. It shows that Black women are dying at significantly higher rates than white men, and that disparities in mortality rates among women of all races are greater than those between white women and white men, complicating the simple narrative that men are dying at greater rates of COVID-19 than women.
Results show that the common belief that men with COVID-19 fare more poorly than women varies in magnitude across social groups defined by race/ethnicity. Key findings of the study include:
- Black women have COVID-19 mortality rates that are almost 4 times higher than that of white men and 3 times higher than that of Asian men, as well as higher than white and Asian women.
- Black men have far higher mortality rates than any other sex and racial group, including over 6 times higher than the rate among white men.
- The disparity in mortality rates between Black women and white women is over 3 times the disparity between white men and white women.
- The disparity between Black men and Black women is larger than the disparity between white men and white women.
Study methods: This study used census data and publicly available data from Michigan and Georgia, the only two states reporting data disaggregated by age, race, and sex, to calculate and compare COVID-19 mortality rates.