Special Report

States With the Highest Number of COVID-19 Cases

There have been over 1.6 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus cases in the United States, and the death toll is nearing 100,000. The majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in just six states — New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. 

California makes this list only because of its large population. It is faring better on a per capita basis with 239 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents, less than half the overall U.S. rate. The other five states have very high confirmed cases per 100,000 residents at over 500 cases per 100,000 and several times higher.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on confirmed COVID-19 cases as reported by local and state government health agencies as of May 25, 2020, to determine the states with the highest number of cases per capita. We calculated the confirmed cases for every 100,000 people in each state using one-year population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. Data was as of May 25 for all states except for Connecticut, for which we used data from May 24.

The number of cases per 100,000 residents has increased in every state over the last month, though the rate of increase has been vastly different. Confirmed cases per 100,000 residents increased by just 10% in Hawaii and Montana from April 21 through May 25. Yet in several Midwestern states, cases per 100,000 residents more than quadrupled during that same period — due at least in part to major outbreaks in some of these states’ larger cities. These are the cities where COVID-19 is growing the fastest.

To curb the spread of COVID-19, states began implementing social distancing measures and temporarily shutting down nonessential businesses. While these directives undoubtedly saved lives, they came at a great economic cost — about 35 million Americans have filed for unemployment since mid-March. In every state, at least 10% of the labor force has filed for unemployment. These are every state’s unemployment claims since COVID-19 shut down the economy.

Click here to see the states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases

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