Health Equity statistics

Obstacles and disparities associated with health equity impact all elements of health, including cancer screening.  For colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, nearly half of premature CRC deaths nationwide are related to racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic inequalities.1   Data on health inequities and disparities is a key tool for identifying and addressing these barriers in vulnerable populations, thus improving health equity.


Increased chance of black/African American individuals dying from colorectal cancer than White individuals2


Amount of deaths caused by all cancers in Hispanic individuals – the leading cause of death for this group3


Higher risk of colorectal cancer mortality for those living in rural areas compared to people with colorectal cancer living in urban areas4

Black and African American2

Hispanic and Latino3

American Indian/Alaska Native

  • Black individuals have the second highest rate of colorectal cancer mortality compared to all other races and ethnicities2
  • Compared to White individuals and individuals of all races combined, Black individuals are less often diagnosed at stages I and IIa,b and are more often diagnosed at regional and distant stages2
  • 5-year survival among all people diagnosed at distant stages is 14% vs 91% when diagnosed at stages I or II2a,b


  • Cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanic individuals, accounting for 20% of deaths. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in White individuals.
  • Among Hispanic males, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of new cancers and cancer-related death. Among White men, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of new cancers and cancer-related death.
  • Adherence to colorectal cancer screening varies by sex and region or country of origin.
  • Compared to Non-Hispanic White individuals, cancer is less commonly diagnosed at a local or regional stage.


  • American Indian/Alaska Native individuals have a 51% higher risk of cancer death compared to White individuals (this is not specific to colorectal cancer).2
  • The incidence of colorectal cancer is increasing among American Indian/Alaska Natives, and American Indian/Alaska Native individuals have the highest incidence of colorectal cancer compared to all other races combined.2
  • American Indian/Alaska Natives are more likely to die from colorectal cancer than Hispanic individuals, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and White individuals.2
  • The rate of incidence and mortality among American Indian/ Alaska Natives varies by US region.5

Bar graph of CRC incidence by race
Bar graph of CRC mortality by race
  • CRC incidence was highest among American Indian/Alaskan Natives, while CRC mortality was highest among Non-Hispanic Blacks
  • Incidence and mortality vary widely across populations
  • These differences vary by sociodemographic characteristics, which are influenced and perpetuated by social determinants of health
  • Race categories represented capture a large heterogeneity of individuals and origins [US Census]

Last Updated: 4/25/2023


Jemal A, Siegel RL, Ma J, et al. Inequalities in premature death from colorectal cancer by state. J Clin Oncol. 2015;33(8):829-835

2 Siegel RL, Miller KD, Waggle NS. Cancer statistics, 2023. CA Cancer J Clin. 2023;73(1):17-48

3 ACS. Cancer facts & figures for Hispanic/Latino People 2021-2023. Atlanta: American Cancer Society. 2021

CDC. An Update on Cancer Deaths in the United States. [updated February 28, 2022, Accessed April 25, 2023. 

5 Melkonian SC, Weir HK, Jim MA, et al. Incidence of and trends in the leading cancers with elevated incidence among American Indian and Alaska Native populations, 2012-2016. Am J Epidemiol. 2021;190(4):528-538



aBased on people with CRC in stage I, stage IIa, or stage IIb between 2012 and 2018. 

bPer American Joint Committee on Cancer’s (AJCC) staging system: Localized = stage I, IIa, IIb. Regional = stage IIc and III. Distant = stage IV.3