Black men almost three times more likely to die from coronavirus than white men - ONS

19 June 2020, 12:18

The highest death rate in the country for Covid-19 is among black men, 255.7 deaths per 100,000
The highest death rate in the country for Covid-19 is among black men, 255.7 deaths per 100,000. Picture: PA
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

The coronavirus death rate is almost three times higher among black men than white men, new analysis from the Official for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

After adjusting for age, the highest death rate in the country was among black males - 255.7 deaths per 100,000 - and lowest was white males - 87 deaths per 100,000.

For women, the pattern was similar with the highest rates among those of black ethnic background - 119.8 deaths per 100,000 - and lowest among those of white ethnic background with 52 deaths per 100,000 people.

Responding to the findings, ONS head of life events Nick Stripe, said: "Analysis continues to show that people from a black ethnic background are at a greater risk of death involving Covid-19 than all other ethnic groups.

"Adjusting for socio-economic factors and geographical location partly explains the increased risk, but there remains twice the risk for black males and around one-and-a-half times for black females. Significant differences also remain for Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian men.

"The ONS will continue to research this unexplained increased risk of death, examining the impact of other health conditions."

Males of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian ethnic background also had a significantly higher risk of death involving Covid-19 than white males, the ONS found.

For females in Bangladeshi or Pakistani, Indian, Chinese and mixed ethnic groups, the risk of death involving Covid-19 was equivalent to white females.

The figures also found that the risk of death involving coronavirus is higher among those who identify as Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh than other religious groups.

The highest mortality rate among religious groups were Muslims, with 198.9 deaths per 100,000 males and 98.2 deaths per 100,000 females.

Those with "no religion" had the lowest rate of death involving Covid-19, with 80.7 deaths per 100,000 males and 47.9 deaths per 100,000 females.

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The ONS’ Nick Stripe added: "For the most part the elevated risk of certain religious groups is explained by geographical, socio-economic and demographic factors and increased risks associated with ethnicity.

"However, after adjusting for the above, Jewish males are at twice the risk of Christian males, and Jewish women are also at higher risk. Additional data and analyses are required to understand this excess risk."

The figures, which are for England and Wales, are based on deaths that occurred between 2 March to 15 May and which were registered by 29 May.

The ONS figures also suggest that those who identified as Jewish at the time of the 2011 Census showed an increased risk of a death involving Covid-19 compared with the Christian population.

Jewish males had a mortality rate of 187.9 deaths per 100,000, which was roughly twice the risk of Christian males.

For Jewish females, the rate was 94.3 deaths per 100,000, compared with 54.6 deaths per 100,000 for Christian females.

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