Healthcare Economy

COVID-19: The 50 Counties Where the Most Americans Have Died

COVID-19 has spread so rapidly that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chief, Dr. Robert Redfield, said, “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.” He was referring to December, January and February.

The number of coronavirus deaths in America is staggering at 276,576, as the daily increase reached a record of 2,664. A huge number of these fatal cases are concentrated in relatively small areas as measured by square miles. In fact, the top 50 counties, based on deaths per county, have 37% of the national total. America’s has 3,143 counties.

The 50 counties with the most deaths point to the pattern of the spread of the disease. While Los Angeles County leads the list at 7,655 fatal cases, it is the largest county in the country by far, as measured by population, at 10,098,052. But many of the other counties at the top of the list are in New York, Illinois and Michigan, where the disease hit hard and early in the cycle from March through early May.

The second hardest-hit county based on fatal count is Cook County, Illinois, with a total of 6,695. It is home to Chicago. It does have the second largest population in the United States at 5,223,719, but most of the deaths came early.

Wayne County, Michigan, home to Detroit was also savaged by the disease, with 3,237 deaths. With a population of 1,761,382, it is smaller based on that measure than most other counties with the highest death tolls.

New York City has three of the top seven counties based on fatal cases. The city was devastated in the spring. Kings County, which contains the borough of Brooklyn, had 5,205, which puts it third on the list of counties by fatal case count. It is followed by Queens County at 5,182. Bronx county has had 3,436. New York County, home to Manhattan has had 2,148.

The early concentration of the disease in New York was not limited to the city. Nearby Nassau County on Long Island has had 2,260 deaths. Essex County, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City, has had 2,238. Nearby Bergen County, New Jersey, has had 2,139 fatal cases. Suffolk County, also on Long Island, has had 2,065 deaths.

As the disease moved South, many large counties in the region took the brunt of the pandemic. Maricopa County, Arizona, home to Phoenix, America’s fastest-growing large city, has posted 4,010 fatal cases. Miami-Dade has had 3,839. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, has had 3,009.

Almost all these counties share one thing in common. Each has one of America’s large cities, with dense populations. That means they will not be spared from America’s rapidly rising death toll in the future.

These are the 50 counties where the most Americans have died from COVID-19.

County State Population Deaths
Los Angeles California 10,098,052 7,655
Cook Illinois 5,223,719 6,695
Kings New York 2,600,747 5,205
Queens New York 2,298,513 5,182
Maricopa Arizona 4,253,913 4,010
Miami-Dade Florida 2,715,516 3,839
Bronx New York 1,437,872 3,436
Wayne Michigan 1,761,382 3,237
Harris Texas 4,602,523 3,009
Middlesex Massachusetts 1,595,192 2,430
Nassau New York 1,356,564 2,260
Essex New Jersey 793,555 2,238
New York New York 1,632,480 2,148
Bergen New Jersey 929,999 2,139
Suffolk New York 1,487,901 2,056
Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1,575,522 2,042
Hidalgo Texas 849,389 1,817
Clark Nevada 2,141,574 1,782
Palm Beach Florida 1,446,277 1,697
Broward Florida 1,909,151 1,664
Hartford Connecticut 894,730 1,609
Hudson New Jersey 668,631 1,582
Orange California 3,164,182 1,577
Dallas Texas 2,586,552 1,539
Westchester New York 968,815 1,517
Fairfield Connecticut 944,348 1,516
Bexar Texas 1,925,865 1,498
Middlesex New Jersey 826,698 1,496
Essex Massachusetts 781,024 1,460
Riverside California 2,383,286 1,442
Union New Jersey 553,066 1,437
Oakland Michigan 1,250,843 1,367
Passaic New Jersey 504,041 1,320
Macomb Michigan 868,704 1,291
Worcester Massachusetts 822,280 1,280
New Haven Connecticut 859,339 1,259
Suffolk Massachusetts 791,766 1,250
Norfolk Massachusetts 698,249 1,184
Ocean New Jersey 591,939 1,130
San Bernardino California 2,135,413 1,129
Hennepin Minnesota 1,235,478 1,121
El Paso Texas 837,654 1,078
Tarrant Texas 2,019,977 1,026
Cameron Texas 421,750 1,013
San Diego California 3,302,833 997
St. Louis Missouri 998,684 975
Montgomery Maryland 1,040,133 960
Montgomery Pennsylvania 821,301 941
Prince George’s Maryland 906,202 936
Hillsborough Florida 1,378,883 933