Runnymede Trust briefing: Ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 mortality

There are marked ethnic inequalities in COVID-19-related deaths. This is according to a January 2021 briefing from Runnymede Trust. 

Key points from the briefing:

  • Ethnic minority people experience a much higher risk of COVID-19-related death, a stark inequality that impacts on all ethnic minority groups.
  • Local authorities with higher proportions of ethnic minority residents are likely to have higher numbers of COVID-19-related deaths.
  • These inequalities reflect increased risk of exposure to the virus because of where people live, the type of accommodation they live in, household size, the types of jobs they do and the means of transport they use to get to work.
  • Ethnic inequalities in relation to COVID-19 are driven by social and economic inequalities, many of which are the result of racial discrimination.
  • Ethnic minorities are also at increased risk of complications and mortality post COVID-19 infection; greater risk of serious illness with COVID-19 is more likely the result of pre-existing social and economic inequalities manifesting in the form of particular chronic illnesses. 
  • Unless racism is understood as a key driver of the inequalities which increase the chances of exposure to and mortality from COVID-19, government and public sector policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic risk further increasing ethnic inequalities in the UK.

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