Coronavirus death rate still rising rapidly in US

US reopens many businesses, despite the country’s COVID-19 death rate growing faster and being higher than most nations

This chart has been updated as of May 17, 2020.

Country ……………….….. COVID-19 deaths/1M pop
……………………….……… 5/17 …………… 4/17 …… Change

Belgium …………………….. 777 ……………… 419 …….. +85%
Spain ……………………….. 590 ………………. 409 …….. +44%
Italy …………………………. 525 ………………. 367 ……. +43%
United Kingdom ……………. 508 ………………. 202 ……. +151%
France ………………………. 422 ……………….. 274 ……. +54%
Sweden …………………….. 363 ……………….. 132 …….. +175%
Netherlands ………………… 331 ………………. 193 …….. +72%
US …………………………… 260 …………..……. 86 ….…. +202%
Switzerland …………………. 185 …………….... 117 …...… +58%
Canada ……………………… 148 …………….….. 28 …..… +429%
Portugal …………………..… 118 ………………… 62 …….. +90%
Germany ……………………... 94 ………………… 46 ….…. +104%
Austria ………………………… 69 ………………… 46 ….…. +50%
Finland ……………………….. 54 …………………. 14 …..… +286%
Norway ……………………….. 43 ………………… 25 ……… +72%
World average …………….… 41 ………………… 18 …….. +128
Mexico ………………………... 37 ……………….. 3.5 …….. +957%
Israel ………………………….. 31 ………………… 16 ……… +94%
Japan …………………………. 5.9 ……………….. 1.2 …….. +392%
South Korea ………………….. 5.1 ……………….. 4.5 ………. +13%
Australia …………………..….. 3.8 ……………….. 2.5 ………. +52%

States ……………….….. COVID-19 deaths/1M pop
……………………….……… 5/17……….….. 4/17 ….…Change

New York …………………… 1,451 ………..…. 673 ………. +116%
New Jersey …………………. 1,167 ………….. 458 ……….. +155%
Connecticut ………………… 956 ……………. 291 ……….. +229%
Massachusetts ……………… 841 ……………. 204 ……….. +312%
District of Columbia ……..… 545 …………… 130 ……….. +319%
Louisiana ……………………. 536 ……………. 261 ………. +105%
Michigan …………………….. 490 …………… 223 ………. +120%
Rhode Island ………………… 471 …………… 111 ………. +324%
Pennsylvania ………………… 351 ………….… 59 ………. +495%
Illinois ……………………….. 330 ………….…. 99 ……….. +233%
Maryland …………………….. 329 ……………. 70 ………. +370%
Delaware …………………….. 298 ……………. 63 ……….. +373%
Indiana ……………………….. 260 ………….... 77 …………. +238%
National average …………… 260 ………….... 86 ……….. +202%
Colorado ………………..……. 211 ……………. 65 …………. +225%
Georgia ……………….……… 152 ……….…… 63 ………… +141%
Ohio ………………………..… 139 ………..….. 36 ………… +286%
Washington ………………..… 131 ………..….. 79 …………. +66%
Florida ………………….…….. 92 ……………. 34 ………… +171%
California …………………….. 82 …………….. 15 ………… +207%
Alaska ……………………..….. 14 ……….…… 12 …………. +17%
Wyoming …………………..…. 14 ……………… 3 ………… +367%
Hawaii ………………………… 12 ……………… 6 ………… +100%

Sources: COVID-19 country death stats taken from World Health Organization. US states stats taken from Johns Hopkins University.
Population figures to compute deaths per million residents taken from US Census Bureau for states and Worldometers for countries besides US.

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Many US states are reopening nonessential businesses, even though the US has one of the fastest growing COVID-19 death rates in the world. [Macau Photo/Unsplash]

Urged by Donald Trump and other Republicans, many US states are reopening nonessential businesses, even though the US has one of the fastest growing COVID-19 death rates in the world.

As of May 17, the US led the world with more than 86,000 deaths, according to World Health Organization figures. The death rate of 260 per one million population ranked eighth among major industrial countries.

Belgium, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, and Holland were ahead of the US. But the US had the fastest growth rate in the past month among those nations, more than tripling the rate of 86 deaths per one million residents as of April 17.

Sweden, a country that has not shut down many businesses but is trying a “herd immunity” approach with disastrous results, came closest to approaching the US growth in coronavirus-related deaths. Neighboring Norway, which has shut down nonessential businesses, had a death rate of about nine times lower than Sweden.

The US growth rate in the past month is lower than some countries, including Canada, Finland, Japan, and Mexico. What’s the deal with Canada, which seemed to contain the virus in the early months? Deaths there have really skyrocketed, as they have in Mexico.

Some of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world are seen in Australia, South Korea, and Japan, even with the latter nation’s recent growth spurt.

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Louisiana have the highest coronavirus-related death rates among US states. Hawaii, Alaska, and Wyoming have the lowest. States with significantly large increases include Pennsylvania, which saw almost a 500% rise in deaths in the past month, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Rhode Island.

I was interested in how individual countries and US states were doing in their coronavirus death rates, comparing the current rate with a month ago, and could not find much on that despite extensive Internet searches. So I computed my own figures and will update the chart periodically.

I’m concerned more with death rates than cases since the former’s impact means more. As many as 98 percent of cases results in only mild symptoms, and since there is still relatively little testing going on in the US unless you are wealthy and politically connected, there are likely many more cases than what is being reported.

The COVID-19 country death figures were taken from World Health Organization reports. US states stats were taken from Johns Hopkins University. Population figures to compute deaths per million residents were taken from the US Census Bureau for states and Worldometers for countries besides the US.

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Fewer people are seeing views from airplanes like this one these days. [Kevin Shay photo]

Written for 45+ newspapers/mags. Written some books — see https://www.amazon.com/Kevin-J.-Shay/e/B004BCQRTG. Visited 48 states, 30+ countries.

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