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 comes 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've made some more changes:

  • Every county except those in Alaska lists the 2020 Biden/Trump partisan lean; Alaska still uses the 2016 Clinton/Trump results. I define a "Swing District" as one where the difference between Biden & Trump was less than 6.0%. FWIW, there's just 188 swing districts (out of over 3,100 total), with around 33.8 million Americans out of 332 million total, or roughly 10.2% of the U.S. population.
  • For the U.S. territories, Puerto Rico only includes the case breakout, not deaths, which are unavailable by county equivalent for some reason.

With these updates in mind, here's the top 100 counties ranked by per capita COVID-19 cases as of Friday, January 15th, 2021 (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. 1,730 of their 6,061 residents have now tested positive for #COVID19, or 28.5% of their total population.

83 of the top 100 counties were won by Donald Trump in 2020. For comparison, it just so happens that 82.3% (2,587 counties out of 3,142 total) voted for Trump, although only 79.4% of them (2,496) of them voted for him over Biden by more than 6 points.

Here's the top 100 counties ranked by per capita COVID-19 fatalities as of Friday, January 15th, 2021 (click image for high-res version):

The #1 spot is has been taken by Jerauld County, South Dakota, where 16 out of the county's 2,013 residents have died of COVID-19, or 0.8%. that's 1 out of every 125 residents.

Interestingly, Gove County, Kansas has moved to the #2 spot because their official COVID-19 death toll actually dropped by 3 people from 22 to 19. I assume this is due to a rediagnosis or clerical error or whatever; when the total population of the county is that small, even a minor correction can make a large percentage change.

80 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 jumped around a bit for a few weeks as I updated counties in all 50 states, but they've now mostly settled back into the same pattern, continuing to shift from blue to red, although the cases appear to have mostly flattened out.

As of today, CASES per capita are now running 10.6% higher in the Red Counties, and the COVID MORTALITY rate is now just 2.7% higher in the Blue Counties.

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

  • There are now just 70 counties nationwide which haven't reported any COVID-19 deaths as of yet, down from 78 a week ago.

Total combined population of these 100 counties? 296,000 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.