Study shows a county’s level of racial segregation predicts its COVID-19 mortality rate

Written by on February 9, 2021

 Study shows a county’s level of racial segregation predicts its COVID-19 mortality rate

By Sarah Boden / WESA

February 9, 2021

A COVID-19 testing site in Pittbsurgh’s Perry South neighborhood. Photo | Katie Blackley / WESA

A new study from Duquesne University says a county’s levels of both racial and socioeconomic segregation are predictors of its COVID-19 mortality rate. 

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Researchers found that the more segregated a county’s Black population, the higher that county’s COVID-19 mortality rate. The same was true for counties with high levels of segregation along socioeconomic lines, which was defined by a number of factors including the unemployment and poverty rates. 

Moreover, when both types of segregation existed within a county, its mortality rate was even higher. The study’s lead author Ahmad Khanijahani says these findings show there are many causes behind disparities that public health interventions need to take into account.

“It’s not one-size-fits-all, and it’s more neighborhood-specific,” Khanijahani says.

The study was published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.


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