Comparisons between COVID-19 deaths and other fatality figures continue to multiply. COVID-19 has killed as many people in a day as died at Pearl Harbor and from the September 11 attacks on lower Manhattan. In sum, the pandemic has killed more people than died in World War I. The rate of death is higher than that of either heart disease or cancer, America’s two largest killers. Another way to look at the number of fatal cases is how they match the population of a mid-sized American city. COVID-19 deaths in America have reached 322,343. That is about the same as the population of the Boulder, Colorado, metro area, which has a population of 326,196.
The demographics of those who have died of COVID-19 in America are much different from those of the city, even though the comparison to a total population number is apt. Most Americans who have died of COVID-19 are over 65. Many more are people of color than that percentage of the national population.
Boulder’s population includes about 8% of people over 65 years old. Those under 18 number about 23% of the total. The number of people who have died of COVID-19 from this younger age group is extremely small. Nearly 89% of the people who live in Boulder are white Americans. Less than 11% are of Hispanic origin, and the city has almost no Black residents.
Boulder is also affluent, with a median household income of well over $70,000, which is higher than the national number. According to the New York Langone Medical Center:
Indeed, the starkest racial and ethnic contrast between majority non-white and predominantly white counties was found when restricted to low-income counties only, where residents from predominantly non-white communities died from COVID-19 at nine times the rate as those living in predominantly white counties.
Despite the demographic differences, the comparison remains stunning. COVID-19 has taken so many lives that it matches the population of America’s 155th largest city. As more people die, the comparison will move up that list of American cities as a grim reminder of how terrible the pandemic has become.