New Report Indicates Black North Carolinians Bearing Disproportionate Level of Coronavirus Effects


A new report released by Piedmont Rising today finds that Black North Carolinians are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic more severely than other groups in terms of the number of deaths and diagnosed cases.

The report found that black residents in our state are at greater risk due to higher rates of chronic illness and less access to health care.

• Black North Carolinians account for 39 percent of confirmed coronavirus patients and 38 percent of deaths from coronavirus, even though only just over 21 percent of state residents are Black.

North Carolina’s Black communities often experience higher rates of certain health issues, especially some that put them at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the coronavirus.

• On average, one-in-four people living in the ten counties in North Carolina with the highest percentage of Black residents report being in poor or fair health. In Wake County, that average is 1 out of 8 residents.

• Black Americans are more likely to have asthma, heart disease, and hypertension, all of which are making them particularly vulnerable to negative outcomes after contracting coronavirus.

In Black communities across North Carolina, people are impacted by much higher rates of diabetes. Diabetes patients are much more likely to experience serious complications from coronavirus.

• Black North Carolinians are significantly more likely to have a diabetes diagnosis at any stage of their lives than any other group in the state. On average, Black American adults are 25% more likely to have diabetes than North Carolinians in general.

• There is a tendency for younger Black Americans to live with diseases that are usually more common in older Americans. For instance, Black Americans ages 35 to 49 are 40 percent more likely to have diabetes than their white counterparts in the same age group.

• Every one of the ten counties in North Carolina with the highest percentage of Black residents has a rate of diabetes diagnoses higher than the state average.

“This report shows how the coronavirus pandemic is only worsening the inequalities people of color face,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director, Casey Wilkinson. “Black residents, and most likely Latino and Native American residents, are bearing the brunt of this crisis, but we still lack a complete picture because of a lack of transparency in data being reported.”