Over Half of US Counties Have Had No COVID-19 Deaths

Queens, New York, has the most deaths from COVID-19 reported in the state as of Thursday, May 7, 2020, according to data from the CDC.

By Norbert Michel Published on May 7, 2020

With many state and local governments starting to relax stay-at-home orders, it’s instructive to examine just how concentrated the spread of COVID-19 has been in the U.S.

Although all U.S. states have reported cases of COVID-19, the distribution of the cases and deaths has remained heavily concentrated in a small number of states, and among a small number of counties within all states.

For instance, as of May 4, just 10 states account for 70% of all U.S. cases and 77% of all deaths. Together, New York and New Jersey alone account for 38% of all cases and 48% of total COVID-19 deaths.

Just five states — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, and California — account for 54% of all of the confirmed cases in the U.S. and 61% of all coronavirus deaths.

These state-level figures do not, however, adequately describe the concentrated nature of the spread of COVID-19.

Credit: The Daily Signal

As the first chart shows, the 30 counties with the most COVID-19 cases account for 50% of all the cases in the U.S. (and 57% of all deaths). That is, just 1% of the counties in the U.S. are responsible for half of the country’s coronavirus cases and more than half of the deaths.

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic and Moral Issues of Our Day.

Of those 30 counties, 24 are in the Northeast corridor between Philadelphia and Boston, the passageway served by a commuter railway system that runs through Manhattan. Overall, just 11% of the counties in the U.S. contain nearly 95% of all the COVID-19 deaths.

Credit: The Daily Signal

Just as important, as the second chart shows, 52% of all U.S. counties have had zero COVID-19 deaths as of May 4.

Also as of May 4, 13 states have deaths that remain unallocated to respective counties. At most, those allocations could reduce the number of zero-death counties by 2 percentage points.

The chart also illustrates that 66% of all U.S. counties have no more than one coronavirus death, 80% have five or fewer, 86% have 10 or fewer, and 89% have fewer than 15.

Put another way, only about 10% of the counties in the U.S. have more than 15 or more COVID-19 deaths, and throughout the epidemic, the spread of COVID has remained highly concentrated in a handful of geographic locations in the U.S.

 

Norbert Michel studies and writes about housing finance, including the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as The Heritage Foundation’s research fellow in financial regulations. Read his research. Follow him on Twitter @norbertjmichel.

Copyright 2020 The Daily Signal

CALL TO ACTION:

COVID-19 is causing massive disruptions in life. The Stream’s parent organization, LIFE Outreach International, is helping send a first wave of help.

LIFE’s local mission partners are already distributing thousands of surgical masks, gloves and other sanitary supplies to first responders, hospitals and nursing homes. In addition, other partners have focused on distributing as many meals as possible to help those who need food.

You can help with these efforts. Click here to donate.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
Inspiration
For Thine is the Kingdom … But Mine is the Driver’s Seat
Clarke Dixon
More from The Stream
Connect with Us