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COVID-19 in Vulnerable Communities: An Examination by Race/Ethnicity in Los Angeles and New York City

A study published by the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative compares the prevalence and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in two large metropolitan county areas, Los Angeles County and New York City (NYC), and among racial and ethnic minorities.

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COVID-19 in Vulnerable Communities

Pattern

Overview:

A study published by the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative compares the prevalence and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in two large metropolitan county areas, Los Angeles County and New York City (NYC), and among racial and ethnic minorities. The research brief found that Latino and Black residents of Los Angeles County and New York City are twice as likely as white residents to die from COVID-19. The research also revealed that high-poverty areas in both regions have the highest rates of COVID-19 cases and COVID-19–related deaths.

Key Findings:

  • Young people between the ages of 18 and 40 have the highest COVID-19 case rates in Los Angeles County, while in NYC, adults older than 45 comprise the largest case rates.
  • Latinos and Blacks in both Los Angeles County and NYC are twice as likely to die of COVID-19 than non-Hispanic whites. Native Hawai’ians or other Pacific Islanders are nearly seven times at risk for becoming infected in Los Angeles, and have nearly five times the death rate of whites.
  • People residing in extremely poor or high poverty areas have the highest COVID-19 case and death rates in both Los Angeles County and NYC.
  • The highest COVID-19 case and death rates are observed in predominantly low-income communities within Los Angeles County, such as the city of Vernon and the City of Industry. The highest case and death rates are observed in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens boroughs of NYC.
  • In both cities, residents relying on public transit or carpooling to work are at risk for exposure.

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