COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities

In collaboration with the Michael Kebede from the ACLU Maine, MIRC has been tracking the data by race and ethnicity since April 2020. The graphs below highlight the troubling disparities in Maine’s COVID-19 positive cases:

A comparison between the percentage share of Maine’s population and the current percentage of cumulative positive cases of COVID-19 by race and ethnicity.

Bi-weekly tracking of the disparity between the percentage of cumulative positive COVID-19 cases where race is reported as Black/African American and the percentage of Maine’s population that is Black/African American.


Since the COVID-19 data on race and ethnicity became available in the state of Maine on April 29, 2020, it became clear that indigenous Black African American Mainers, immigrants of color, and members of the Latinx community are experiencing disproportionate infection and harm from the virus. As described in an article in the Portland Press Herald on June 21, 2020, and based on data provided by the Maine CDC and the ACLU Maine, Maine has the nation’s largest racial disparity for COVID-19.

  • Despite making up 1.6% of the population, almost 21% of positive cases in Maine, where race is reported, are Black/African American.
  • Only 1.7% of the population is reported as Hispanic while they make up almost 5% of the positive cases.
  • Similarly, Asian/Pacific Islanders make up 1.2% of the population but account for around 2.5% of the cases.
  • Overall, Black People, Indigenous People and People of Color (BIPOC) make up around 27% of the cases, whilst only accounting for 5.3% of the state’s total population.

Data updated on September 21, 2020.


COVID19 Resources for New Mainers – Multi-Languages

Permanent Commission on The Status Of Racial, Indigenous And Maine Tribal Populations Committee – An Overview Of Maine’s Growing Coronavirus Racial Disparities reports presented to the Committee On Appropriations And Financial Affairs:
Data and Causes
Solutions and Funding Suggestions

Media Coverage of the Virtual Press Conference on Maine’s Racial Disparities

2020 COVID-19 Health Equity Improvement Initiative Application for Community-Based Organizations

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