Data dashboard highlights COVID-19 demographics and time trends

As news reports underline the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, a new data visualization dashboard developed by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health scientists may be the first to compile state-level COVID-19 demographic information for age, race/ethnicity, and sex. The Demographics by State COVID-19 Reporting (DSCovR) Dashboard allows policymakers, scientists, and the lay public to visualize and compare COVID-19 time trends and demographic information among cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across states.

The DSCovR Dashboard:

Demographic insights based on June 15 COVID-19 data visualizations include:

  • In an overwhelming majority of states, a minority racial group has the highest rate of death per capita.
  • In many states, such as California, Colorado, and Delaware, Hispanics have a disproportionately high share of cases. In other states, such as Arizona, New Mexico, and American Indians/Alaska Natives have been disproportionately affected. In others, such as Alabama and Mississippi, Blacks have been disproportionately affected.
  • In the majority of states, the percentage of females is higher among cases, while the percentage of males is higher among deaths.

The researchers note that racial/ethnicity demographic data for cases are available in all but four states: Louisiana, Nebraska, New York, and North Dakota. Racial/ethnicity demographic data for deaths are not available from seven states: Hawaii, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Most of these states with the exception of Nebraska and New Mexico have fewer than 100 deaths. Three of these states report age demographic data for deaths: Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Age demographic data for cases is available for all states except New York. Sex demographic data for cases is available for all states except Hawaii.

The DSCovR Dashboard also provides a map view of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The map view also highlights the availability and reporting of state-level demographic information. Users can use the dashboard to compare time trends of the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths. As of June 15, new cases are trending upward in several southern and western states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas. Going forward, the DSCovR team intends to add information on state-level re-openings so users can visualize the relationship between the number of new cases and death, and re-openings.

The DSCovR Dashboard time trends are updated daily and the demographic information is updated regularly using data posted on state health department websites given the frequent updates and changes to the reporting of demographic information.

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