As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, we've asked readers what they most want to know about its impact, prevention and treatment. This is an answer to one of those questions. You can find more answers here.


I’ve seen breakdowns of cases and deaths by age and race, but I would like to know the breakdown by gender. Did I hear more infections in women but more deaths in men?

Women and men each make up 50% of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Overall, women account for 50.2% of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, testing has been limited and it is unclear how many more women or men have been infected.

Most of the deaths have been among men. As of mid-April, about 60% of the deaths were in men, the state Health Department said.

In long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, there have been roughly an equal number of deaths among men and women, according to a Star Tribune analysis of death records. But outside of the elder care facilities, 72% of 37 deaths were among men; far more women than men live in such facilities.

Those gender breakdowns are likely to vary as the state sees more fatalities.

Nationwide, 58% of all COVID-19 deaths have been among men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease also had similar impacts on men in China and Italy.

Researchers are still looking into the reasons for the disparities, but they include different immune system responses and a higher rate of smoking among men.

DATA: See our complete COVID-19 tracking page for Minnesota and the U.S.