With millions of Americans affected by COVID-19, data has shown that the pandemic will disproportionately affect Black communities. In many cases, this pandemic has highlighted or exacerbated economic and social inequities such as access to health care, housing instability, unemployment, financial barriers for entrepreneurs, and the education divide.
According to Detroit Future City’s COVID-19: Future Resilience Demands Greater Equity Today report, African Americans represent 31% of COVID-19 cases in Michigan, where they account for 14% of the population. Hispanics are slightly overrepresented as well, representing 7% of COVID-19 cases, but only 5% of the population. Detroit, which is 77% African American and 8% Hispanic, has had more than 10,902 cases. This alarming rate highlights the disproportionate impact on African Americans and Hispanics, which has compounded instability in areas where there is a high concentration of poverty.
The Black community has faced the worst economic decline in businesses and wealth since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports cites close ties between the health and economic effects of COVID-19 in specific communities. “Counties with the highest concentration of COVID-19 are also the areas with the highest concentration of Black businesses and networks.” With the data presented, the region and state will have to work even harder to restore communities after the pandemic.