States Ranked by Age-Adjusted COVID Deaths
Data table updated on October 20, 2021
In the time of COVID, the average American citizen is inundated with statistics regarding deaths, cases, and vaccine uptake from a variety of sources. Frequently media outlets will cherry pick data that appear to support their opinions on public health policy. As a result, you may find analyses that seemingly contradict each other.
One such example concerns deaths from COVID-19. This metric is often used to determine how effective a state’s health mandates are in controlling the pandemic. Although these statistics are usually adjusted for state population, displayed as deaths per 100,000, they aren’t adjusted for the age distribution of a state. It’s important to adjust for age when trying to make sense of 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 accordingly. We intend to update the following plot and data table regularly as new data become available.
Here we see dramatic state-to-state differences in cumulative age-adjusted COVID deaths per capita to date. In the end, some states that adopted dramatically divergent policies had comparable outcomes. Yet, a few regions have fared markedly better than the rest.
Mississippi is exceptionally high, and several states are especially low in the Pacific NW, Alaska, Hawaii, and the part of New England north of Massachusetts (MA itself is average). Among large states, Texas is high, New York & Georgia are higher than average, and California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois are average.
COVID deaths from CDC: “Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and State” (Updated on October 20, 2021)
Population data from U.S. Census Bureau: “State Population by Characteristics: 2010-2019”