This project will run from January 2021 to December 2021.

  • Run by Newcastle University.
  • Research into what the geographical and social inequalities are in COVID-19 cases and deaths in England, and which individual and place-based factors explain these inequalities.
  • Will use information on virus cases and deaths in each area to analyse the impact of factors such as living and working conditions, housing and employment.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the perception was that ‘we are all in this together’ and that the virus ‘does not discriminate’. However, government data has since highlighted that deaths from COVID-19 are almost double in poorer communities and higher in places with larger black, Asian and minority ethnic populations.

This has led to concerns that not everyone is experiencing COVID-19 in the same way. But we do not know enough about why or how this might change over time.

In this project, a team from Newcastle University will use several sources of data to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has developed over time in different types of places and communities.

The project team will use information on virus cases and deaths in each area to understand how these are impacted by living and working conditions, housing, employment and access to services and leisure facilities, for example.

This work will help to uncover how and why some communities are affected more than others by COVID-19, and to identify which ones are more at risk from future waves and other pandemics. This will also help staff in public health, social care and the NHS provide better support to high-risk communities.

The results of this work will be published on a website that will use maps to show differences in the pandemic across the country. The results of the research will help with local NHS and public health planning, as well as in policy development, media and parliamentary debates.


For more information about this project, please contact Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health, Newcastle University, or Fiona Matthews, Professor of Epidemiology, Newcastle University.

More about the programme


COVID-19 Research Programme


The Health Foundation has launched a new research programme, which seeks to understand the impact of...

You might also like...


Webinar: Build back fairer: Inequalities and COVID-19 in England


To launch the COVID-19 and health inequalities report, the Health Foundation and the UCL Institute...

Newsletter feature

What can COVID-19 teach us about how to rebuild a more equal society?

Newsletter feature

Fozia Irfan, an expert advisor for our COVID-19 impact inquiry, on how the pandemic is both exposing...

Press release

Spending Review leaves NHS England £6bn short next year

Press release

Health Foundation response to the Chancellor's Spending Review.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

RT @Gummifot: I’m excited to share the results from a study I’ve been working on as part of the #ImprovementAnalytics Unit at @HealthFdn. I…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more