Racial Data Lab
(Illustration by Júlia Ledur)
The COVID Racial Data Tracker
COVID-19 is affecting people of color the most. We’re tracking the data in real time.
The tracker advocates for, collects, publishes, and analyzes racial data on the pandemic across the United States. A collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the BU Center for Antiracist Research, it is the most complete race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the country.
The project began when Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the center, wrote a series of essays in The Atlantic about the urgent need to gather racial and ethnic demographic data to understand the outbreak and protect vulnerable communities.
On April 12, 2020, we started collecting race and ethnicity data from every state that reported it. On April 15, we launched that data set as the first iteration of the COVID Racial Data Tracker. We update the data twice a week.
About the data
We’ve compiled the data for several categories so that researchers can begin to work with, analyze, and visualize it. But this is a challenging data set to compile and code. While an increasing number of states and territories are providing race and ethnicity data, that data remains incomplete and inconsistent.
We’re advocating to change that. You can too. Our racial data dashboard provides the latest information on who is providing race and ethnicity data, and how complete it is. Check to see whether your state is reporting this data at all, and for what percentage of cases. Then, urge your government officials and representatives to make this data fully available to all.