The rate of coronavirus deaths among British black Africans in hospital is 3.7 times higher than the UK’s white population, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that highlights “stark inequalities” between different ethnic groups.
The IFS research also found that after stripping out the role of age and geography, hospital fatalities among Bangladeshis are twice those of the white British group, while Pakistani deaths are 2.9 times as high.
The Indian, black Caribbean and "other white" ethnic groups also have excess fatalities, but the difference is not as stark.
Underlying health conditions, occupational exposure, and a range of other factors are likely to be important (to understanding the differences),” the report states.
The IFS says some ethnic groups are significantly over-represented in "key worker" categories, which have a higher risk of infection.
The report states: “More than two in ten black African women of working age are employed in health and social care roles. Indian men are 150% more likely to work in health or social care roles than their white British counterparts. While the Indian ethnic group makes up 3% of the working-age population of England and Wales, they account for 14% of doctors.”
There is also a significant difference in the economic vulnerability of different groups, according to the IFS.
The report compared six minority ethnic groups (white other, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, black African and black Caribbean) against the white British majority.
There is growing evidence that ethnic minority groups in the UK are disproportionately affected by the virus, which has already prompted the government to order an inquiry into the issue.