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This chapter presents a summary of existent evidence regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Minority Ethnic Groups (MEGs) in the United Kingdom Compared to White British, MEGs have historically experienced lower levels of health and socioeconomic outcomes and the COVID-19 crisis seems to have widened these inequalities. In particular, evidence gathered between 2020 and early 2021 suggests that MEGs, and especially MEGs women, experienced a substantive deterioration in mental health. Furthermore, Black and South Asian groups were more likely to contract the infection and die than any other ethnic group. Access to preventative services and healthcare, plus residential and employment segregation seem to be important factors in explaining mortality rates due to COVID-19. Finally, data released by NHS on vaccinations (until August 2021) show that Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities are lagging behind the rest, with a very low proportion of these groups receiving the first dose. Getting everyone vaccinated should be a priority for the Government in order to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and avoid new outbreaks. The evidence collected and summarised in this chapter calls for further attention on, and action to mitigate, the widening gaps in health and socioeconomic attainments across ethnic groups.

Original publication





Book title

Contributions to Economic Analysis

Publication Date





143 - 158