The Disproportionate Impact of COVID on Race/Ethnicity in America

Black/Hispanics have reported higher levels of risk for non-essential activities. This heightened sense of concern translates into real behavioral differences.

The author(s)

  • Marie-Pierre Lemay Director, US, Public Affairs
  • James Diamond Account Manager, US, MSU - Research Consulting
  • Nina Seminara Research Analyst, Public Affairs
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For Americans, March marks the one-year anniversary of when COVID-19 really took hold of the national psyche, but its origins date back to January 2020. On January 9, China reported the first death attributed to COVID. Less than two weeks later, the U.S. identified its first case in Washington State. In late February, former New York Times health and science reporter, Donald G. McNeil Jr., predicted “some big chunk of the country” will would likely get the virus, an early indication of the damage to come. Around this time, Ipsos began conducting regular surveys to track Americans’ experiences with and perceptions of the virus. By late March 2020, one in 10 people personally knew someone in the U.S. who had tested positive. At the end of the year, three in four did.

However, as the pandemic continued, it became obvious that COVID was not the “great equalizer”. Our research discovered that COVID has had a disproportionate effect on Black and Hispanic Americans compared to White Americans. Leveraging the data we have collected throughout the year, this paper provides detailed insight into the disparities we uncovered, and what that means for brands.

To access more research from our Diversity & Inclusion series, please click here.

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The author(s)

  • Marie-Pierre Lemay Director, US, Public Affairs
  • James Diamond Account Manager, US, MSU - Research Consulting
  • Nina Seminara Research Analyst, Public Affairs

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