There are 3,007 counties in America. The largest, based on population, is Los Angeles County, which has 852,165 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest total in the nation. At the far end of the spectrum, one county has only a single confirmed case. That is Loving County, Texas, which has a population of 102.
Loving County has two advantages when it comes to the spread of contagious diseases. One is its geographic size compared to its population. The county covers 677 square miles. Detroit, by comparison, covers 143 square miles and has almost 700,000 residents. Loving County sits in a remote area. On one of the far west borders with New Mexico is Odessa, the closest city, which is 40 miles east of it.
The only county in the United States with fewer people is Kalawao County, Hawaii, which has a population of 88.
The U.S. Census Bureau shows that Loving County’s population has grown 106% since 2010. Just over 81% of the population is white. About 13% is Latino. The median value of a home is $217,000, well below the national average. Thirty households make up the county.
Just over 80% of the population has a high school education or better. No one has a bachelor’s degree. A little less than 14% of the population is over 65.
The median household income in Loving County is $83,000, well above the national median number of $68,000. Just above 7% of the people live in poverty. That is well below the national number of 10.5%.
Loving County was the only county in Texas that had not does of COVID-19 vaccine shipped to it as of January 3.
It is one of only 83 counties where no one has died of COVID-19. Only three others have confirmed case counts of less than 10. They are Skagway County, Alaska; King County, Texas; and Harding County, New Mexico. Each has few people and is vast based on the number of square miles.
As the pandemic progresses, Loving County may be one of the few in America that, with advantages of extremely low population density and a remote location, has a chance for its case count to remain flat.