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Income inequality tied to more COVID-19 cases, deaths

www.cidrap.umn.edu

A study yesterday in JAMA Network Open identifies an association between US county-level income inequality and higher rates of COVID-19 infection and death in summer 2020.The ecological cohort study, by Stanford University researchers, analyzed coronavirus case and death data from Johns Hopkins University on 3,220 counties in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC, from Mar 1, 2020, to Feb 28, 2021.

County income data, obtained mostly from the 2014 through 2018 American Community Survey, were used to estimate the Gini coefficient, which measures unequal income.

Coefficient scores range from 0 to 1, with 0 representing perfect income equality and 1 representing perfect income inequality, in which one person earns all the income.

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