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 Utah, which come from the GitHub data of the New York Times due to JHU not breaking the state out by county but by "region" for some reason.

I made some important changes starting last week:

  • First: I had been using the 2016 Trump/Clinton election results for partisan lean for each county. Now that the dust has (mostly) settled on the 2020 election, I've updated this to the Biden/Trump results for 2020. There's a few states where I don't have county-level data for 2020 yet (AK, CT, NY). I hope to have the final three states updated by next weekend, but am using 2016 data until then.
  • Second: I've also added columns listing the actual Biden/Trump vote percentage for each county to give a feel for how partisan it is. Again, I'm defining "Swing District" as any county where the difference is less than 6.0%. There's 185 swing districts (out of over 3,100 total), with around 35 million Americans out of 331 million total, or roughly 10.6% 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, December 5th (click image for high-res version).

Blue = Joe Biden won by more than 6 points; Orange = Donald Trump won by more than 6 points; Yellow = Swing District

Crowley County, Colorado still holds the #1 spot. 1,336 of their 6,061 residents have now tested positive for #COVID19, or 22% of their total population.

86 of the top 100 counties were won by Donald Trump in 2020.

Here's the top 100 counties ranked by per capita COVID-19 fatalities as of Saturday, December 5th (click image for high-res version):

The #1 spot is still held Gove County, Kansas, where 20 of the county's 2,636 residents have died of COVID-19, or 0.76%. That's 1 out of every 132 residents.

71 of the top 100 counties voted for Donald Trump in 2020.

It's also worth noting how the ratio of per capita cases and mortality have shifted between the Blue and Red-leaning counties over time.

Back in mid-March, the case rate was 450% higher and the mortality rate was 530% higher in blue counties than red counties (defined as counties which voted for Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump). Due to my updating most of the counties to reflect the 2020 results instead of 2016, the lines for both cases and deaths per capita have jumped back towards the "blue" side a bit. Even so, cases per capita are still just 4% higher in the blue counties now, and the mortality rate is still down to just 41% higher.

We'll see whether the trend towards a higher rate in Trump counties continues going forward.

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

  • There are now just 140 counties nationwide which haven't reported any COVID-19 deaths as of yet, down from 171 a week ago.

Total combined population of these 140 counties? 752,000 people.

  • There are only 3 counties nationwide which haven't reported any cases yet:
    • Bristol Bay Borough, Alaska
    • Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Alaska
    • Kalawao County, Hawaii

Total combined population of these 3 counties? 3,070 people.