Race and Ethnicity

The U.S. government treats race and ethnicity as two separate and distinct concepts, therefore mortality data are categorized by separate race and ethnicity variables. The race identifier includes: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black or African American, and White. The ethnicity identifier includes Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino. These two variables are used together on this page to define race and ethnicity groups.

Because non-Hispanic whites experience 70% of all preventable injury-related deaths, sub-trends occurring among other race and ethnic groups can be overlooked. The interactive chart allows you to explore preventable injury-related death trends by race, ethnicity, cause of death, age group, and year of death.

The impact of the pandemic in 2020 reached far wider than the illness and fatality cases directly resulting from COVID-19. During the pandemic overall preventable deaths, drug overdose deaths, and motor-vehicle crash deaths all increased dramatically. Using the interactive chart on this page shows that the burden of these increased deaths were not experienced equally among race and ethnic groups.

In 2020, the overall preventable death rate per 100,000 population increased 13% among non-Hispanic whites but increased even more for other groups:

  • +32% – non-Hispanic Black or African Americans
  • +22% – Hispanic or Latino whites
  • +20% – non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan natives

In 2020, the preventable poisoning (including drug overdoses) death rate per 100,000 population increased 28% among non-Hispanic whites but increased even more for other groups:

  • +50% – non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan natives
  • +49% – non-Hispanic Black or African Americans
  • +41% – Hispanic or Latino whites

In 2020, the motor-vehicle death rate per 100,000 population increased 3% among non-Hispanic whites but increased even more for other groups:

  • +26% – non-Hispanic Black or African Americans
  • +13% – Hispanic or Latino whites

Although non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan natives continue to experience the highest motor-vehicle death rate, the rate increased less in 2020 than other groups (+2%).

Use the interactive chart to explore other trends.

  • Chart
  • Data Table
How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables