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Race Differences in Deaths from Coronavirus in England and Wales: Demographics, Poverty, Pre-existing Conditions, or Intelligence?

Richard Lynn and Gerhard Meisenberg


Published: 2020/06/01


Death rates from SARS-Cov2 in England and Wales are examined for the major ethnic minorities. Substantial differences in death rate of different ethnicities were found that are not easily explained by demographic characteristics of these groups such as age and urban-versus-rural residence. This study looks at possible explanations for these disparities. Socio-economic factors such as income and housing conditions are related to the observed differences in Covid-19 death rates, but average intelligence appears to be the best correlate. We also explore ethnic differences in the prevalence of some major chronic medical conditions that are associated with Covid-19 mortality, and find that these appear insufficient as explanations for the different mortality rates. It is hypothesized that intelligence has both direct effects by making people more able to avoid infection, and indirect effects through socio-economic conditions and through lifestyle factors that can lead to chronic health problems.

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