U.K. Covid-19 Deaths Higher Among Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Groups

(Bloomberg) -- Coronavirus fatalities among black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the U.K. are disproportionately high, according to a report that casts new light on the people at the sharp end of the battle against the disease.

Per capita deaths among Black Caribbeans in English hospitals are three times those of white British people, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said in a report published Friday.

Other ethnic groups are also suffering more fatalities than average, despite the fact that most minority groups are much younger in general than the white British population, the think tank said.

Accounting for differences in age, sex and geography -- minority groups live disproportionately in cities where there are more deaths from Covid-19 -- Black Caribbean fatalities are 1.7 times those of White British, Pakistani deaths are 2.7 times as high and Black African fatalities 3.5 times higher, according to the IFS.

One explanation is the prevalence of some minority groups in key worker roles, with Indian, Pakistani and Black African men far more likely to be working in health care than white British men, the IFS said. Health is another factor: two-thirds of Bangladeshi men over 60 have a long-term condition that could put them at risk from infection.

The report also noted that some are bearing a disproportionate economic burden as a result of the lockdown in place to stop the spread of the virus.

Bangladeshi men are four times as likely as white British men to have jobs in shuttered industries, due in large part to their heavy concentration in the restaurant sector. Pakistani men are nearly three times as likely, partly due to many working as taxi drivers.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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