COVID-19 Data Analysis: Chicago Socioeconomic Conditions & Health Outcomes

The magnitude of the toll of COVID-19 on long-term care facility residents in Chicagoland is likely to distort the association between neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and disease outcomes. Regardless of the heteroscedasticity pattern (slide show figure 1, the dispersion of the mortality observations increases with the magnitude of poverty), there is a relatively strong positive association between COVID-19 mortality and the percent of families with income below the poverty level at a ZIP code level (Spearman’s rho or ρ = 0.45). Such a feature is not discerned in figure 2 (ρ = 0.22). This finding has significant implications on the methodology to develop social vulnerability models for the disease since, in most applications, they rely on a preselected number of variables that are assumed to define vulnerability.18 Similar patterns have been observed with other socioeconomic variables as well.