Weekly Update: #COVID19 case & death rates by county, partisan lean & vaccination rate


Here's the weekly look at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the end of June, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020).

The case rate is pretty much the same as it was last week, with new cases running nearly 3x higher per capita in the reddest tenth of the country than the bluest tenth:

Meanwhile, the death rate ratio has shrunk slightly, with the rate in the reddest tenth now 5.8x higher than in the bluest tenth. HOWEVER, there's an important methodology change this week: I finally have Nebraska's county-level COVID death rate data (more specifically, the New York Times seems to have found a way to access it since June 30th). It looks like the red/blue divide in Nebraska is somewhat smaller than in the rest of the country, thus nudging the national gap down a bit:

Meanwhile, here's what the same data looks like on a nonpartisan basis: Case and death rates based purely on vaccination rate of each county. The following graphs are up to date as of yesterday (10/24/21). Both measure the county-level case and death rates since the end of June compared against what percentage of the population is fully vaccinated (i.e., 2 doses of Pfizer/Moderna or 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson).

Again, I've broken the population of the 50 states +DC (~331 million people...this doesn't include the U.S. territories) has been broken out into ten brackets of roughly 33.1 million apiece.

As you can see, case rates since June are 2.23x higher in the least-vaccinated tenth of the country than in the most-vaccinated tenth...

...while when you look at the death rates, the contrast is even more stark: Death rates in the least-vaxxed tenth are 4.33x higher than in the most-vaxxed tenth (again, this graph now includes Nebraska's county-level COVID death data):

It will be fascinating to see how (or if) this pattern changes as time goes on, especially given the two newest factors: 3rd-shot boosters (which I'm not really tracking yet) and the pending approval of the Pfizer vaccine for 5 - 11 year old children.

Get vaccinated, dammit.