The annual update of KFF’s collection of wide-ranging data on health and health care by race and ethnicity is now available, and this year includes measures on mental health care access, mental illness, substance use disorder, suicide rates, and drug overdose death rates.
The handy reference, “Key Data on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity,” has nearly 50 charts and up to 70 data measures that highlight the scale and scope of disparities among six racial and ethnic groups in three broad categories: health coverage and access to and use of care; health status, outcomes, and behaviors; and social determinants of health.
When the measures are examined collectively to see how Asian, Hispanic, Black, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN), and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) people fare compared to White people, readers can see the extent of disparities experienced by specific groups. For example, Black people fared worse than White people in 55 measures of health and health care and Hispanic people fared worse than White people in 44 of them. However, the data may mask disparities faced by subgroups within these broad racial and ethnic categories. For example, while Asian people fare the same or better than White people on many measures, certain ethnic subgroups of Asian people may fare worse. Further, ongoing data gaps and limitations hinder the ability to have a comprehensive understanding of the experiences of smaller groups, such as AIAN and NHOPI people.
The overview of how specific racial/ethnic groups fared compared to White people is a gateway to explore the detailed findings, some of which have received attention or policy action recently: