It’s easy, though, to consider those factors in the abstract. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracking the age and race of those with coronavirus infections shows how black Americans are afflicted more than other groups — particularly older black Americans.
The government breaks out race and ethnicity separately, meaning that the data for Hispanic and Latino coronavirus patients is assessed separately. Looking solely at patients for whom both race and age are known — about a third of the cases logged by the CDC — here’s how case totals are distributed.
The largest circle shown is for whites aged 45 to 64, a group which makes up a fifth of the total cases. Younger whites, those aged 18 to 44, make up another 18 percent of cases.
But those groups also constitute 45 percent of the actual population. If we overlay population density, we see where groups are overrepresented. Among black Americans aged 45 to 64, for example, the red circle of infections is much larger than the gray circle of population. That group, in other words, makes up much more of the coronavirus caseload than it does the U.S. population.
We can look at this another way, comparing confirmed coronavirus cases to the actual population. Recognizing that the cases recorded by the CDC don’t capture every infection with the virus, we see that infections are most common among black Americans aged 75 and up. In every group, the circles get bigger as age increases — meaning that older people are more affected in every racial group identified by the CDC.
Here, too, the difference between white and black Americans stands out. Black Americans over the age of 75 are more than three times as likely to have a confirmed case of the coronavirus as are whites in the same age group. The difference among those aged 65 to 74 is even more stark. In that group, the density of infections as a function of the black population is more than five times as large as the same value for whites.
The data is incomplete, but this comports with a Post analysis showing black Americans as hit particularly hard. Viewed as a function of population, the official data from the federal government is particularly stark.