STUMP » Articles » Ranking the states by COVID age-adjusted death rates, June 2023 edition » 2 June 2023, 17:21

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Ranking the states by COVID age-adjusted death rates, June 2023 edition  


2 June 2023, 17:21

Well, it seems that somebody is trying to keep in the news:

‘New York had fewer deaths!’

Wars over COVID-19 continue to take center stage in the race for the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination.

Former President Donald Trump is taking Ron DeSantis to task again over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, contending Florida saw more COVID casualties than New York, which was governed by Democrat Andrew Cuomo during much of the early wave of the disease.

Well, there are many ways we can rank this, and I have ranked the states re: COVID deaths before:

Ranking the states by COVID age-adjusted death rates

DECEMBER 15, 2022
Ranking the states by COVID age-adjusted death rates
I’m still waiting for the CDC to finalize the 2021 mortality database. Looking at last year’s info, they finalized 2020’s data around December 22 as a Christmas gift, so while we wait, let me do a few other things. (and yes, I’m working on a … New Year’s … gift for everybody. Depending on what the CDC does.)

2020-2021: When Cuomo was gov

To make it simple, let’s just look at the tile grid map for 2020:

And 2021:

Now, you may say, “Hey, that scale doesn’t let us distinguish between Florida and New York very well!”, and you would be correct. I’m about to give you numbers for the years, with the age-adjusted death rates for COVID for those two states.

New York vs. Florida COVID death rates

Here you go:

(Spreadsheet with the data is at the substack post.)

That overall rank is lower number is not good (#1 having the highest overall COVID age-adjusted death rate. That’s Mississippi.)

An explanation for age-adjusted death rates is here:

Mortality Basics with Meep: Age-Adjusted Death Rates v. Crude Death Rates for U.S. 1968-2020

JULY 28, 2021
Mortality Basics with Meep: Age-Adjusted Death Rates v. Crude Death Rates for U.S. 1968-2020
I have been complaining even before 2020 about how media generally talks about mortality trends, generally using life expectancy as their hook. Here are a few posts where I do that: Mortality with Meep: U.S. Life Expectancy Fell 2.4% in 2020, and Death Rates Increased 16.1%

To be sure, Cuomo was governor of New York only up to August 23, 2021, so maybe he doesn’t get the full year head-to-head on 2021, and I should only compare up to that point… but that’s really quibbling.

I think it’s best for the governors not to try to take credit for matters of life and death, when they don’t really have a lot of control… or when they do, it may come to bite them on the ass.

I know it’s futile to tell the loud mouths Trump and Cuomo to shut up, but they really should shut up about this.

2022 update

It’s several months since my last update, so here are the new maps for 2022 alone and 2020-2022:

Now you may see why I picked that specific numerical scale.

With COVID subsiding in 2022, you may see some states are laggards re: mortality. Those may be places that need particular focus with COVID care.

Full period 2020-2022

It really seems that most states were equally hard-hit.

Again, I don’t think any particular state’s governor can come in for kudos at a high level with respect to COVID mortality. They had little control over that.

But maybe, for a future post, I’ll look specifically at how states did with regards to COVID mortality for their oldest residents (age 85+).

Top ten ranking

These had the worst mortality:

More southerly, eh? Seeing lots of border states there.

Spreadsheets and methodology

Spreadsheet at substack post

2022 data from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics System, Provisional Mortality on CDC WONDER Online Database. Data are from the final Multiple Cause of Death Files, 2018-2021, and from provisional data for years 2022-2023, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at on Jun 2, 2023.

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