Philadelphia's coronavirus numbers show stark racial and income disparities

ByYun Choi WPVI logo
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The coronavirus is infecting and killing African Americans in Philadelphia at disproportionately high rates, according to data released by the city health department.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health first released demographic data on people infected with and died of COVID-19 on April 8, in the fifth week since the first confirmed case in the city.

Racial information of 77 percent of all positive cases in the city remains unknown. But the 6abc Data Journalism Team found that African Americans account for over 56 percent of positive cases where the patient's race is known, while white Americans take up only 26 percent.

According to the U.S. Census population estimates, the proportionate percentages for African Americans and white Americans in the city are 42.3 percent and 41.2 percent, respectively.

African Americans also account for over 57 percent of deaths where the deceased's race is known.

The 6abc Data Journalism Team also found white and affluent zip codes in Philadelphia had higher testing rates than their less white, poorer counterparts.

The zip codes with higher testing rates had lower positive test rates.