Black Americans face disproportionate share of disruption from coronavirus

McKinsey analysis shows that black Americans are almost twice as likely to live in the counties at highest risk of health and economic disruption, if or when the pandemic hits those counties. Nationally, black Americans are not only more likely to be at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 but also have lower access to testing. In addition, they are likely to experience more severe complications from the infection; black Americans are on average about 30 percent likelier to have health conditions that exacerbate the effects of COVID-19. We also found that 39 percent of all jobs held by black Americans—compared with 34 percent held by white Americans—are now threatened by reductions in hours or pay, temporary furloughs, or permanent layoffs, totaling 7 million jobs.

Black Americans are almost twice as likely to live in places where, if contagion hits, the pandemic will likely cause outsize disruption.

To read the article, see “COVID-19: Investing in black lives and livelihoods,” April 2020.