Data Collection on Ethnicity and COVID-19

Last Updated: January 27, 2021

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This Briefing Note was completed by the Research, Analysis, and Evaluation Branch (Ministry of Health).


This note summarizes how jurisdictions are capturing ethnicity data in relation to COVID-19.

*The full version of the Briefing Note including the Appendix and the entirety of the Summary of Evidence can be accessed in the PDF file at the top of the page*

Key Findings

Information was identified on seven jurisdictions or health organizations. Ethnicity data, along with other socio-demographic data (e.g., race, household income, occupation), is collected to better understand and strengthen capacity to address whether COVID-19 may be disproportionately affecting certain population groups. Ethnicity or ethno-racial categories for data collection include:

Implementation Implications: Ethnicity data collection during COVID-19 can be used to identify health disparities and promote health equity.

Supporting Evidence

Table 1: Overview of How Jurisdictions are Collecting Ethnicity Data in Relation to COVID-19 (found within the full text PDF) presents information on how ethnicity data in relation to COVID-19 are being collected by Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health, British Columbia, Manitoba, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. The majority of the information presented was taken directly from the original articles. The findings should be interpreted with caution based upon the following limitations:

The information presented was identified in 0.5 working days and represents information identified in this timeframe, and not an exhaustive analysis of the scientific literature. The findings presented may not represent consensus positions or the most updated literature, particularly as the literature on COVID-19 is continuously being updated as the evidence evolves.

The search was limited to English sources and therefore may not capture the full extent of initiatives in non-English speaking countries.