ANALYSIS: COVID-19 Disparities

Prepared for the John T. Gorman Foundation this fall, researchers Jessica Carson, Ph.D. and Sarah Boege at Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire have compiled an analysis breaking down economic, health, and social impacts of COVID-19 across Maine – highlighting a number of disparities for how different regional, age, and racial groups have fared during the pandemic. Though the data was collected before the height of the Omicron surge, the report provides important insights as the state continues working to provide equitable responses to the pandemic and prepare for future emergencies.

Look below for a selection of graphs and data points from the analysis or view and download the full report here. (Click on images and page numbers to see within report.)

COVID-19 Case Rates by Race & Ethnicity

Mainers who identified as Black or African American contracted COVID-19 at twice the state’s average rate. It was even higher for other minority groups. (Page 7)


Mortality Rates by Race & Ethnicity

Compared to their share of the state’s cases, some of the highest mortality rates were among those who identified as American Indian. (Page 7)


How Older Mainers Fared

Counties with the highest mortality rates also had larger populations of residents over the age of 70 – though several counties with similar percentages of older residents fared much better, suggesting a difference in protective factors county to county. (<target=”_blank” a href=”https://www.jtgfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Carsey_Maine-COVID-White-Paper_Nov2021_FINAL.pdf#page=13″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Page 13)


Unequal Economic Footing

There were great racial and ethnic disparities in the ability to weather the economic impacts of the prolonged pandemic – Mainers who identify as Black or African-American, for example, have a median personal income less than half that of whites. (Page 18)