Updated on: 11/14/2022

Injury and Exposure to Violence

Due to structural racism and social policies that perpetuate inequality, violence disproportionately affects some communities and leads to outcomes that results in higher rates of school bullying, homicides, and firearm death rates.

Note: Hispanic is used to reflect current data collection practices. We acknowledge this may not be the preferred term. Throughout this report, NH refers to Non-Hispanic. People of color refers to individuals identifying as Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Other. Unless otherwise noted, adults are ages 18+. Data are most recently available for the specified data source.

Hospitalizations for Work-Related Conditions among those Aged 16-64 years (2016-2020)

Workers may be hospitalized when they experience serious injuries resulting from on-the-job hazards or illnesses. Although white workers experienced the highest rate of hospitalization for all work-related conditions, Hispanic workers experienced the highest rate of hospitalizations for workplace injuries specifically. More than half of all work-related hospitalization among both Hispanic and Asian workers were caused by injuries (data not shown).

Analysis of 2016-2020 data in aggregate. The numbers of full-time equivalent (FTE) employed residents used in rate calculations were estimated from the 5-Year PUMS file of the American Community Survey (2016-2020).

Hospitalization data courtesy of CHIA. A hospitalization was counted as work-related if the payer for the care/treatment provided was listed as workers’ compensation.

Equity Spotlight

There is extensive evidence that the burden of work-related injuries and illnesses (WRII) is not borne equally and that immigrants and people of color are disproportionately employed in more dangerous jobs, a consequence of structural racism and other factors.45,46,47,48 In the U.S., either Black or Hispanic workers, or both, are over-represented in all ten of the most common ‘high-risk’ jobs, occupations that have WRII rates at twice the national average.49 Many of these are lower paying jobs without adequate benefits such as sick leave and health insurance.

Violence disproportionately affects communities that have a history of experiencing structural racism and facing social policies that perpetuate inequality such as discriminatory housing and lending policies, environmental policy and disenfranchisement.

Youth Bullied at School (2017, 2019)

In 2017 and 2019, middle school students who identify as Other/Multi-Racial and White were more likely than other groups to report having been bullied at school in the past year.

Analysis of 2017 and 2019 YHS. Statistically significant where alpha = 0.05. Other includes American Indian, Alaska Native or Pacific Islander and youth who indicated several ethnicities that did not include Hispanic/Latino. Youth indicators from YHS.

Annual Homicide Rate (2007-2019)

Since 2007, Black residents have consistently experienced high rates of homicide as compared to other race groups.

There were insufficient data for Asian, NH in all years, except 2013 and 2019. For more information on Annual Homicide Rates in MA see the Death Data via the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.

Firearm Death Rate: Males Aged 15-24 (2015, 2020)

Firearm death rates are higher for young Black and Hispanic men than their White counterparts.

Data were insufficient for the Asian, NH group. Data provided by MAVDRS.

Download the raw data (accessible version) used to create these visualizations.

45Baron SL, Beard S, Davis LK, et al. Promoting integrated approaches to reducing health inequities among low-income workers: applying a social ecological framework. AM J Ind Med. 2014. May; 57(5):539-556
46 Orrenius PM, Zavodny M. Do immigrants work in riskier jobs? Demography. 2009 Aug; 46(3):535-551.
Health of Massachusetts. Department of Public Health. Https://www.mass.gov/files/201...
48 Krieger N. Workers are people too: societal aspects of occupational health disparities - an ecosocial perspective. Am J Ind Med. 2010 Feb; 53(2):104-115.
Davis L. Health Equity: Work Matters. Oral plenary presentation at: Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Annual Conference; June, 2018; West Palm Beach, FL.

Indicator selection

This report gathered equity metrics found throughout DPH published data reports in one common location. When choosing the indicators to feature in this dashboard, we focused on publicly available data and the State Health Assessment (SHA) priority indicators. In some instances proxy measures were used if race/ethnicity data were limited (e.g. Hepatitis B Vaccinations Rates in place of Viral Hepatitis Prevalence Rates). Only indicators that had sufficient data for breakdowns by race/ethnicity were included.

Time-frame for Data Shown

In all cases, the most recent data for each indicator are incorporated. For some topics (e.g. hospitalizations for various causes), only older data are available by race/ethnicity. However, the goal of this dashboard is to capture the current experiences of this priority population. As such, the years of data presented are different for each chart; we opted for the most recent data available over using the same (older) year across all indicators in the report

Race/Ethnicity Group Definition and Data Collection

This report presents race/ethnicity data as it is collected and defined by each source. DPH complies with the the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Standards and have adapted the recommendations to capture this information. We acknowledge that the race/ethnicity breakdowns presented here may not reflect each group's preferred terms. We recognize that race groups are not monolithic. Grouping into larger categories (e.g. Asian) and grouping Hispanic separately (e.g. Black and Hispanic is not a category in this report) is problematic and may not fully capture the experiences specific groups have. Data on language and disability status are not reflected in this version of the report but we plan to include these in future versions. Detailed information on the specific race/ethnicity group definitions and data collection practices can be found using the links to data sources provided for each chart. The DPH Race/Ethnicity/Language Data Standards Guide provides information on current department wide minimum compliance for collecting, defining, and reporting this information.

Data Suppression

For some charts, race/ethnicity groups may not be shown. This varies by data source and reflects insufficient sample size to support reliable estimates or suppression to protect residents privacy. For more information on the DPH suppression guidelines, please see the Department of Public Health Confidentiality Procedures.

Current Analysis

Unless otherwise noted, the differences between race/ethnicity groups in this report are based on descriptive observations (i.e. estimates are higher or lower than others) and key findings for the data shown in charts do not represent statistically significant differences. Any language that indicates statistical significance is taken directly from reports that have performed these analyses separately from this dashboard. For more information on how analyses were performed and definitions for significance, please see the data source notes provided for each chart.

CI refers to Confidence Interval (if available), which describes the certainty of a value. The Department of Public Health uses a 95% confidence interval.

Future Plans

This initial report focuses on communities of color. Additional dashboards on the other priority populations will be created. We also plan to expand dashboard contents including adding more indicators, updating data currently included, and incorporating intersectionality of populations (e.g. data by race/ethnicity and sexual orientation/gender identity).

Visual representations of statistical significance and additional analytics to compare differences between groups will also be incorporated.