Counties with Highest Risk for Racial Equity Disruption for Black Americans

Across the nation, Covid-19 has placed on the stage of our democracy the perennial problem of this pandemic; race, place and the catastrophic inequity and impacts to Black Americans. According to a recently released Mckinsey report, about 40 percent of Black Americans live in 244 counties where, if Covid-19 spreads will likely cause “health and economic disruption.”

County disruption was evaluated using five indicators: underlying health conditions, poverty rate, number of hospital beds, percentage of people in severe housing conditions, and population density. The total counties across the country with the highest equity risk is 566. Since the majority of Black Americans (65 percent) are concentrated in 16 states, most are concentrated in 244 of the highest at risk counties for Racial and Health Equity disruption.

Counties were ranked using deciles. Decile 10 represents the highest racial equity risk for disruption. Lower deciles represent lower equity risk. Source: 2017 CMS-LDS Medicare FFS data and DRG 835/837 data © 2020 DR/Decision Resources, LLC. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. Reproduction for noncommercial use is permitted if attributed; American Community Survey, 5-year estimates 2013–18, Population, housing units, area, and density; American Community Survey, 5-year estimates 2013–18, Poverty status in the past 12 months; Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy, US Department of Housing and Urban Development; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; total population, hospital compare and Medicare provider cost reports, US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; 2010 US Census, US Census Bureau; McKinsey Global Institute analysis

Based on the above heat map, there are 14 counties in Texas with a high risk potential for Racial Equity disruption:

  • Wharton
  • Grimes
  • Madison
  • Walker
  • Houston
  • Cherokee
  • San Augustine
  • Harrison
  • Marion
  • Cass
  • Morris
  • Dallas
  • Tarrant
  • Harris