States Ranked by Age adjusted COVID Deaths - Updated April 20 - See table for more details

States Ranked by Age-Adjusted COVID Deaths

Data updated on September 21, 2022

We’re inundated with statistics on how US states have fared relative to one another throughout the pandemic. Sometimes these can appear contradictory because the data can be cut to support a variety of narratives. We wanted an updated source of cumulative age-adjusted COVID-19 deaths by state, as death is an important measure of the impact of a pandemic, and states have adopted widely divergent policies.

While COVID-19 deaths are usually adjusted for state population (deaths per 100,000), they are usually not adjusted for the age distribution of a state. It’s important to adjust for age when considering state-to-state differences in outcomes as age is the dominant risk factor for death provided someone is infected with COVID, and state age distributions vary considerably. In the following analysis, we present age-adjusted cumulative COVID-19 deaths and rank each state plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia accordingly. We generated the plot and table using the CDC’s Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and State database, which sourced its data from death certificates. These numbers are more consistently processed across states, though they may differ slightly from other sources. 

 

Bubble areas are proportional to state populations and the horizontal arrangement is arbitrary to reduce overlap.

Here we see dramatic state-to-state differences in cumulative age-adjusted COVID deaths per capita to date, spanning a range of over five fold. In the end, some states that adopted dramatically divergent policies had comparable outcomes (Florida and California, for example).

Mississippi is exceptionally high. A few regional clusters have fared markedly better than the rest: Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine, Oregon & Washington, and Hawaii & Puerto Rico.

Why do COVID deaths vary by state? 

Explore the relationships between age-adjusted COVID deaths and several state-level metrics including: vaccination coverage, obesity rate, the strictness of COVID policy and more. 

Explore the Data

 

Age-Adjusted COVID Deaths Ranking

State

COVID-19 Deaths per 100,000

Age-Adjusted COVID-19 Deaths per 100,000

1 Mississippi 465 476
2 Oklahoma 426 435
3 Tennessee 404 409
4 Texas 340 406
5 Kentucky 400 404
6 Alabama 410 403
7 Nevada 374 396
8 Arkansas 387 376
8 Indiana 368 376
8 New Mexico 390 376
11 Louisiana 356 371
12 North Dakota 380 370
13 Arizona 388 369
13 Ohio 388 369
15 Georgia 319 364
15 West Virginia 415 364
17 South Carolina 371 362
18 New York 381 361
19 New Jersey 373 360
20 District of Columbia 295 349
21 South Dakota 361 341
22 Missouri 350 335
23 Pennsylvania 378 332
24 Michigan 337 322
25 Rhode Island 355 317
26 Montana 344 316
27 Kansas 319 313
28 Idaho 292 309
29 North Carolina 294 299
30 Wyoming 293 294
31 Florida 349 292
32 Iowa 319 291
33 Delaware 317 289
34 Connecticut 321 287
35 Illinois 283 283
36 Colorado 243 277
36 Maryland 270 277
38 California 254 270
39 Nebraska 268 264
40 Massachusetts 278 262
41 Virginia 244 255
42 Wisconsin 265 252
43 Alaska 187 244
44 Minnesota 240 236
45 Utah 169 225
46 Washington 174 184
47 Oregon 189 183
48 New Hampshire 194 179
49 Maine 201 168
50 Puerto Rico 156 135
51 Hawaii 116 103
51 Vermont 118 103

Calculation 

We determined the age adjusted mortality per 100,000 people (maa) for each state using the formula:

m_aa = SUM (D_x * P_x / (N_x * 100,000))

Where Dx is the total deaths in age group x in the state, Nx is the total population in age group x in the state, and Px is the percent of the population in age group x in the United States.

Citations

COVID deaths from CDC: “Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and State” (Updated on September 21, 2022)

Population data from U.S. Census Bureau: “State Population by Characteristics: 2010-2019”