University of Minnesota Study Finds Racial Disparities in Pandemic Mortality

New research from the University of Minnesota has found that excess mortality in Minnesota has been worse than in previous years. Defined as deaths above what was expected, excess mortality has increased in 2020 largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, research revealed a racial disparity in terms of excess mortality.

At first glance, the state’s pandemic statistics seem to be relatively equal to others in comparison. However, hidden within the data, while confirmed COVID-19 mortality accounts for the majority of excess mortality among white Minnesotans, COVID-19 counts for less of the excess mortality among other racial groups, indicating that the pandemic’s toll on Minnesotans of color has been understated in statistics. 

Department of Sociology assistant professor Elizabeth Wrigley-Field notes that in order to truly understand the toll that the pandemic has taken, deaths must be looked at more holistically. She says, “Focusing only on official, confirmed COVID-19 deaths understates

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