Weekly Update: U.S. #COVID19 vaccination levels BY COUNTY & Partisan Lean (now w/2020 Census data!)

COVID-19 Vaccine

This week brings a major change...which actually doesn't change things that much, at least for the big picture.

With the U.S. Census Bureau finally releasing the official county-level results of the 2020 Census, I've updated the graph to include the official April 2020 populations for every county, parish borough and census area in the 50 United States + the District of Columbia (along with the U.S. territories), as opposed to the Census Bureau's July 2019 estimated populations which I had been using until now.

For most counties/etc. this only makes a minor difference one way or the other; in 2,656 out of 3,114 (over 85% of them), the difference is less than 5% higher or lower.

However, there's 153 counties where the official 2020 population is at least 5% higher than what I had. In fact there's 26 counties where the Census Bureau has the population down as more than 10% higher. There's even 4 counties where it's 25% higher or more.

The biggest discrepancy in this direction is Harding County, NM, where the actual population (657) is a whopping 49% higher than the 2019 estimate (441).

On the flip side, there's 305 counties where the official population is at least 5% lower than the 2019 estimates; 85 of which are at least 10% lower (Texas, Missouri, Georgia and South Dakota seem to comprise most of these), and 3 counties where it's at least 25% lower.

The biggest discrepancy in this direction is the smallest county in the nation: Loving County, TX, where the actual population is just 64 people vs. the 169 I previously had it listed at.

As a result, the county-level vaccination rate graph looks very different for many of these as individual counties. Los Alamos County, NM, for instance, which I thought was over 85% fully vaccinated turnst out to only be around 65% vaxxed.

In terms of the overall picture, however, this has makes almost no difference whatsoever, as you'll see below (I'm including 2 graphs based on the 2019 estimated populations and the 2020 Census populations for comparison).

Methodology reminders:

  • For my county-level vaccination rate graphs, I go by FULLY vaccinated only (2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population, as opposed to adults only or those over 11 years old.

With this in mind, here's what it looks like using the 2019 estimated populations, as I have been until now:

Note that using the 2019 estimated populations, the R^2 continued to increase slightly while the slope actually dropped ever so slightly:

  • R^2 went from 0.4447 on 8/10 to 0.4500 on 8/17
  • Slope went from -0.4515 on 8/10 to -0.4505 on 8/17

Next, let's look at the same graph using the official 2020 U.S. Census Bureau data, which is what I plan on using going forward:

With the one-time correcation to the updated population data, the R^2 continues to increase (from 0.4447 to 0.4459) over the past week, while the slope drops slightly (from -0.4515 to -0.4325):

We'll see what happens going forward, of course, but my suspicion is that with the one-time correction out of the way, both of these figures will resume increasing a bit every week. Stay tuned...

Other things especially worth noting given the update to the official 2020 Census data:

  • Kalawao County, HI (pop. corrected from 86 to 82) is still the only one which is 100% vaccinated.
  • As noted above, Los Alamos, NM has fallen way out of the top-vaccinated list; this leaves Bristol Bay Borough, AK (pop. 844) in the #2 spot.
  • Hudspeth County, TX is one of the counties where the Census Bureau puts their 2020 population much lower than I thought (3,202 vs. 4,886). This means their vaccination rate is much higher than previously estimated: 84.3% vs. 55.2%. Huh.

Note that I'll be double-checking the official 2020 Census numbers for some of these going forward, since there's some massive differences in a few counties.

  • At the opposite end, not much has changed: There's still 3 counties below 10% fully vaccinated, and they're the same ones I've noted before (McPherson County, SD; Slope County, ND and Miller County, AR. None of their populations were off by more than a few percent. The fourth one (McPherson County, NE) jumped to 12.8% vaccinated, however, as their population appears to be just 399 people vs. 494.
  • Of counties with more than 100,000 residents, the top-vaxxed is Marin County, CA (73.5% vaxxed); Montgomery County, MD (71.3%); and San Francisco, CA (71.0% vaxxed)
  • Of counties with more than 100,000 residents, the least-vaxxed are Shelby and Limestone Counties, AL, neither of which has vaccinated more than 25% of their total populations.
  • There are 49 counties with more than 1 million residents. Of those, the highest-vaxxed is (again) Montgomery County, MD (71.3% vaxxed) while the lowest-vaxxed is Wayne County, MI (home of Detroit), which has only vaccinated 41.7% of its population.