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*
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:
- Toronto Public Health: 1) Arab, Middle Eastern, or West Asian; 2) Black; 3) Latin American; 4) South Asian or Indo-Caribbean; 5) Southeast Asian; and 6) White.
- Peel Public Health: 1) Black; 2) East/Southeast Asian (Chinese, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Korean, and Japanese); 3) Latino (Latin American); 4) Middle Eastern (Arab and West Asian); 5) South Asian; 6) White (not a visible minority, minus Aboriginal ancestry); 7) other (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestries, visible minority not included elsewhere, and multiple visible minorities); and 8) prefer not to answer.
- British Columbia: 1) First Nations; 2) Métis; 3) Inuit; 4) White (European descent); 5) Chinese; 6) South Asian (e.g., East Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan); 7) Black (e.g., African or Caribbean); 8) Filipino; 9) Latin American/Hispanic; 10) Southeast Asian (e.g., Vietnamese, Cambodian, Malaysian, Laotian); 11) Arab; 12) West Asian (e.g., Iranian, Afghan); 14) Korean; 15) Japanese; 16) other; and 17) prefer not to answer. These categories are collapsed into broader categories for data analyses (e.g., Indigenous, Chinese, South Asian, White, and all other ethnicities combined).
- Manitoba: 1) African; 2) Black; 3) Chinese; 4) Filipino; 5) Latin American; 6) North American; 7) South Asian; 8) Southeast Asian; 9) White; and 10) other. Countries or regions of origin are provided as examples of these identifier categories.
- United States: As of August 1, 2020, racial and ethnic data for COVID-19 test results must be available in all reporting to state and local public health departments, and subsequently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, the COVID-19 Racial Data Tracker by The Atlantic, the American Medical Association, and the National Academy for State Health Policy uses this publicly available data to track states’ reporting. For example, as of January 27, 2021, 51 of 56 states/territories report race/ethnicity data for COVID-19 cases and deaths. In some states (e.g., Alabama), ethnicity categories are separated from race categories and include: 1) Hispanic or Latino; and 2) Not Hispanic or Latino. In other states (e.g., Arizona), race and ethnicity categories are combined together: 1) Black or African American alone; 2) Hispanic or Latino; 3) Asian alone; 4) Hawaiian and Pacific Islander alone; 5) American Indian or Alaska Native alone; 6) two or more races; 7) White alone; and 8) some other race alone.
- United Kingdom: 1) White (White British, Irish, Gypsy or Irish Traveller, and Other White); 2) Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups (White and Black Caribbean, White and Asian, White and Black African, and Other Mixed); 3) Indian; 4) Bangladeshi and Pakistani; 5) Chinese; 6) Black (Black Caribbean; Black African; and Black Other); and 7) other ethnic group (Asian other, Arab, and Other ethnic group).
- Brazil: 1) Branco (White); 2) Preto (Black); 3) Amarelo (East Asian); 4) Indígeno (Indigenous); or 4) Pardo (mixed ethnicity)
Implementation Implications: Ethnicity data collection during COVID-19 can be used to identify health disparities and promote health equity.
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.