Family and friends mourn at a service for Julio Aguilar, who died after contracting COVID-19, in December 2020 in East Los Angeles. For years, public health experts have observed how Latinos have overall better mortality rates than white residents, despite being more likely to have lower incomes, chronic health issues, and decreased access to healthcare.
Now, the historic COVID-19 pandemic has upended the so-called “Latino paradox” in Los Angeles County.
For the first time in the past decade, the mortality rate for Latinos in Los Angeles County became worse than that of white residents, starting in 2020 — the first year of the pandemic — and worsening the next year.
Latinos also suffered the highest percentage increase in death rates for all reasons among the four racial and ethnic groups analyzed by L.A. County between 2019 and 2021. The mortality rate for Latino residents in L.A. County rose by 48% over that period, growing from a rate of 511 deaths for every 100,000 Latino residents to a rate of 756.
The increase in Latinos’ death rate was double the increase in the death rate for all L.A. County residents, which rose by 23%.
Black residents have long had the highest death rate in L.A. […]