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Middle-aged adults, people of color make up larger share of Iowa's COVID-19 cases than the population

Chart showing the percentage breakdowns of the overall Iowa population versus positive test results for COVID-19 by age demographic groups. Middle-aged adults, defined by the Iowa Department of Public Health as being aged 41 to 60, make up a much larger share of COVID-19 cases than they do of the population. (KCRG)
Chart showing the percentage breakdowns of the overall Iowa population versus positive test results for COVID-19 by age demographic groups. Middle-aged adults, defined by the Iowa Department of Public Health as being aged 41 to 60, make up a much larger share of COVID-19 cases than they do of the population. (KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 11:25 PM CDT
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With the release of new demographic data as it relates to people affected by the novel coronavirus in Iowa, some trends that go against the state's overall population demographics are standing out.

The breakdown by age shows that, overall, children make up a very small percentage of overall COVID-19 cases in Iowa compared to their share of the population. The state defines "child" in this case as anybody aged 17 or younger. This group is responsible for only 1.2% of the positive test results of the illness, compared to 23.2% of the population based on estimates made in 2018 by the United States Census Bureau.

All of the other age demographic groups defined by the state, including adults (ages 18 to 40), middle-aged adults (ages 41 to 60), older adults (ages 61 to 80), and elderly adults (ages 81 and older) make up a larger portion of COVID-19 cases than of the total population.

However, middle-aged adults make up a very disproportionate share of coronavirus cases compared to their share of the state's population. This group is responsible for 38.8% of positive test results for COVID-19, while only making up 24.1% of the state's population.

Data released by the state is also broken down by race and ethnicity, though interpretation is complicated by a significant portion of positive tests being defined as "unknown" in both of those categories. The overall message is fairly clear though: people of color in Iowa are a larger share of COVID-19 cases than they are a share of the state's population.

White people in Iowa make up 90.3% of the state's population but are represented by only 73.3% of the total COVID-19 cases. All other racial groups are 9.7% of the state's population but account for 13.4% of the COVID-19 cases. 13.3% of positive test results for the illness were classified as an unknown race by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Similarly, people who say their ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino make up 6% of Iowa's population, but so far have been responsible for 16.4% of the state's positive COVID-19 tests.

The data are available

. This analysis is based on data provided by the state on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, and is subject to change as more positive tests are recorded.

Age demographic data
2018 Census dataCOVID-19 cases
Child (<18)< />d>23.20%1.21%
Adult (18-40)30.40%32.23%
Middle-Age Adult (41-60)24.10%38.76%
Older Adult (61-80)18.10%22.12%
Elderly Adult (81+)4.20%5.69%
Race demographic data
2018 Census State Population EstimatesCOVID-19 Cases
White90.30%73.30%
Unknown13.30%
Black or African-American3.50%8.70%
Asian2.60%3.20%
Other3.60%1.50%
Ethnicity demographic data
2018 Census State Population EstimatesCOVID-19 Cases
Not Hispanic or Latino94.00%72.00%
Hispanic or Latino6.00%16.40%
Unknown11.60%

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