Estimated Mortality Increases During the COVID-19 Pandemic By Socioeconomic Status, Race, and Ethnicity

Sarah Miller, Laura Wherry, Bhashkar Mazumder
Health Affairs

This article estimates changes in all-cause mortality due to the COVID-19 pandemic by socioeconomic characteristics and occupation for nonelderly adults in the US, using large-scale, national survey data linked to administrative mortality records. Mortality increases were largest for adults living in correctional facilities or in health care–related group quarters, those without health insurance coverage, those with family incomes below the federal poverty level, and those in occupations with limited work-from-home options. For almost all subgroups, mortality increases were higher among non-Hispanic Black respondents than among non-Hispanic White respondents. Hispanic respondents with health insurance, those not living in group quarters, those with work-from-home options, and those in essential industries also experienced larger increases in mortality during the COVID-19 crisis compared with non-Hispanic Whites in those categories. Occupations that experienced the largest mortality increases were related to installation, maintenance, and repair and production. This research highlights the relevance of individual economic, social, and demographic characteristics during the COVID-19 crisis.

Wagner Faculty