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 May 25, 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 update the plot and data table weekly using the CDC’s Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and State database, which sources its data from death certificates. These numbers will be more consistently processed across states, though they may differ slightly from other sources.

 

States Ranked by Age adjusted COVID Deaths - Updated May 25 - See table for more details

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 444 455
2 Oklahoma 407 416
3 Texas 329 393
4 Tennessee 385 389
5 Alabama 395 388
6 Nevada 359 380
7 Kentucky 375 378
8 Arkansas 371 360
8 Indiana 353 360
8 New Mexico 372 360
11 Arizona 376 358
12 Louisiana 343 357
13 North Dakota 365 355
13 Ohio 373 355
15 Georgia 307 349
15 New Jersey 362 349
15 New York 367 349
18 South Carolina 349 340
19 West Virginia 385 338
20 District of Columbia 285 336
21 South Dakota 348 330
22 Missouri 336 321
23 Pennsylvania 362 318
24 Michigan 322 307
25 Rhode Island 342 306
26 Montana 331 303
27 Kansas 307 301
28 Idaho 280 295
29 Wyoming 280 281
30 North Carolina 274 278
31 Iowa 304 277
32 Connecticut 308 275
32 Florida 328 275
34 Delaware 301 274
35 Illinois 272 272
36 Colorado 231 264
36 Maryland 257 264
38 California 241 257
39 Nebraska 256 253
40 Massachusetts 267 252
41 Wisconsin 253 241
42 Virginia 228 238
43 Alaska 176 228
44 Minnesota 227 224
45 Utah 160 213
46 Washington 160 169
47 New Hampshire 183 168
48 Oregon 172 166
49 Maine 187 157
50 Puerto Rico 131 113
51 Vermont 104 91
52 Hawaii 99 89

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 May 25, 2022)

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