Weekly Update: Which COUNTIES have the highest per capita rates of #COVID19 cases and deaths?

The data below comes from the GitHub data repositories of Johns Hopkins University, except for Rhode Island, Utah and Wyoming, which come from the GitHub data of the New York Times due to the JHU data being incomplete for these three states. Some data comes directly from state health department websites.

Note that a few weeks ago I finally went through and separated out swing districts. I'm defining these as any county which where the difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was less than 6 percentage points either way in 2016. There's a total of 198 Swing Counties using this criteria (out of over 3,200 total), containing around 38.5 million Americans out of over 330 million nationally, or roughly 11.6% of the U.S. population.

With these updates in mind, here's the top 100 counties ranked by per capita COVID-19 cases as of Saturday, September 26th (click image for high-res version). Blue = Hillary Clinton won by more than 6 points; Orange = Donald Trump won by more than 6 points; Yellow = Swing District

Chattahoochee County, Georgia has been replaced in the #1 spot by Lincoln County, Arkansas, where over 2,000 of their 13,000 residents have now tested positive for #COVID19.

14 of the top 20 counties were solidly won by Donald Trump in 2016, as were 61 of the top 100.

New York doesn't even show up until #139 (Rockland County, a swing district).

New York City's 5 boroughs show up at:

  • #283 (Bronx)
  • #398 (Staten Island)
  • #447 (Queens)
  • #689 (Brooklyn)
  • #1070 (Manhattan)

Michigan no longer shows up until #1,104 (Wayne County, where Detroit is located). Oakland County, where I live, now ranks #1,459.

Here's the top 100 counties ranked by per capita COVID-19 fatalities as of Saturday, September 26th (click image for high-res version):

Of the top 100 counties:

  • 19 are in Georgia
  • 16 are in Mississippi
  • 15 are in Texas
  • 10 are in Louisiana
  • 6 are in Alabama
  • 6 are in New York
  • 6 are in New Jersey
  • 4 are in Arkansas
  • 3 are in Virginia
  • 3 are in South Carolina
  • 2 are in Arizona
  • 2 are in Iowa
  • 2 are in Nebraska
  • 1 is in California
  • 1 is in New Mexico
  • 1 is in Kansas
  • 1 is in Montana
  • 1 is in Utah

New York City's 5 boroughs now rank #10, 14, 20, 40 and 73. Wayne County, Michigan (which includes Detroit) is now down to #107.

It's also worth noting how the ratio of per capita cases has shifted between the Clinton and Trump counties over time. Back in mid-March, the rate was 4.5x higher in Clinton-voting counties than Trump counties. As of this weekend that ratio was down to 1.19x higher. In terms of the mortality rate, the ratio has dropped from 5.3x to 1.86x.

As you can see below, separating out the ~200 swing counties from the Red and Blue ones caused the ratio between the two for both case rates and death rates to bump back up towards a higher blue county rate, but only slightly and only for that one week. This week the trend has continued downwards:

UPDATE: By request, I've also taken a look at the counties with the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases and fatalities:

  • There are 209 counties nationwide which have no COVID-19 deaths as of yet
  • There are only 10 counties nationwide which don't have any cases yet:
    • Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Alaska
    • Lake & Peninsula Borough, Alaska
    • Skagway Municipality, Alaska
    • Kalawao County, Hawaiii
    • Petroleum County, Montana
    • Hayes County, Nebraska
    • Esmeralda County, Nevada
    • Wheeler County, Oregon
    • King County, Texas
    • Loving County, Texas

Total population of these 10 counties? 9,064 people.