Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Weekly State-Specific Data Updates

data.cdc.gov | Last Updated 12 Aug 2020

This report provides a weekly summary of deaths with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by select geographic and demographic variables. In this release, counts of deaths are provided by the race and Hispanic origin of the decedent. Topics will be added to the release as they become available. These provisional counts are based on a current flow of mortality data in the National Vital Statistics System. National provisional counts include deaths occurring within the 50 states and the District of Columbia that have been received and coded as of the date specified. Data shown on this page may be incomplete and will likely not include all deaths that occurred during a given time period, especially for the more recent time periods. Data on this page are revised weekly and may increase or decrease as new and updated death certificate data are received from the states by NCHS. COVID-19 death counts shown here may differ from other published sources, as data currently are lagged by an average of 1–2 weeks. Weighted population distributions more accurately reflect race/ethnic distributions of the geographic locations where COVID outbreaks are occurring (see below for the methods used to calculate weighted percentages). The weighted population distributions ensure that the population estimates and percentages of COVID-19 deaths represent comparable geographic areas, in order to provide information about whether certain racial and ethnic subgroups are experiencing a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 mortality. See Table 2 below for unweighted populations. Estimated distributions of COVID-19 deaths and population size by race and Hispanic origin The percentages of COVID-19 deaths by race and Hispanic origin were calculated by dividing the number of COVID-19 deaths for each race and Hispanic origin group by the total number of COVID-19 deaths. Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding. The distribution of deaths involving COVID-19 by race/ethnicity should not be compared to the race/ethnicity distribution of the U.S. population because COVID-19 deaths are concentrated in certain geographic locations where the racial and ethnic population distribution differs from that of the United States overall. Additionally, COVID-19 deaths are concentrated in certain areas within states, and it is therefore not appropriate to compare the percent of COVID-19 deaths by race/ethnicity to the racial/ethnic population distribution of a given state. To make the estimated population distribution more comparable to the geographic areas where COVID-19 deaths are occurring, weighted population distributions are provided in this report. The weighted population distributions were calculated as follows. County-level population counts by race and Hispanic origin were multiplied by the corresponding total count of COVID-19 deaths by county (of residence). These weighted counts were then summed to the state (or national) level. The percentage of the population within each race and Hispanic origin group by state (or for the U.S.) was then estimated using these weighted counts. Counties with no COVID-19 deaths received a weight of zero, and thus do not contribute to the weighted population totals. Population counts for counties with large numbers of COVID-19 deaths are upweighted proportional to their numbers of COVID-19 deaths. These weighted population distributions ensure that the population estimates and percentages of COVID-19 deaths represent comparable geographic areas, in order to provide information about whether certain racial and ethnic subgroups are experiencing a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 mortality. For example, assume that 75% of the total number of COVID deaths occurred in a single county, County X, while the other 25% of COVID deaths occurred in County Y, and all other counties reported zero deaths. The weighted population counts for County X would contribute 75% of the total population counts, while the population counts for County Y would contribute 25% of the total, while all other counties with zero COVID deaths would not count toward the total population counts. In other words, County X population counts would be weighted by 0.75, County Y population counts would be weighted by 0.25, and all other county population counts would be weighted by 0. These weighted counts are then summed to a total (either state or US), and then the percent of the population in each race and Hispanic origin group is computed. These weighted distributions ensure that the population distributions are as closely matched to the geographic areas where COVID deaths are occurring, to the extent possible. Unweighted population distributions by state are provided for context in Table 2, and are publicly available (see: https://wonder.cdc.gov/Single-Race-v2018.html). For example, 60% of the United States population is non-Hispanic white and 13% non-Hispanic black or African American. The majority of COVID deaths have occurred in New York City where the racial distribution is different than the racial distribution of the United States. After weighting the population to reflect the areas experiencing the greatest number of COVID deaths (i.e., up-weighting areas like New York City that have a disproportionate amount of deaths), the weighted percent of the US population that is non-Hispanic white is reduced to less than 50% and the percent that is non-Hispanic black or African American is increased to nearly 25%. Counties are the smallest geographic unit for which COVID-19 and population data are available. There may be geographic clustering of COVID-19 deaths within counties, and therefore weighting population counts by county may not be sufficient to ensure comparability between the geographic areas where COVID-19 deaths are occurring and the corresponding population estimates. Nature and sources of data Provisional death counts are based on death records received and processed by NCHS as of a specified cutoff date. National provisional counts include deaths occurring within the 50 states and the District of Columbia. NCHS receives the death records from state vital registration offices through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Provisional data are based on available records that meet certain data quality criteria at the time of analysis and may not include all deaths that occurred during a given time period especially for more recent periods. Estimates of completeness are provided. Therefore, they should not be considered comparable with final data and are subject to change. Comparing data in this report to other sources Provisional death counts in this report will not match counts in other sources, such as media reports or numbers from county health departments. Death counts in this report are tabulated by the decedent’s state of residence. COVID-19 deaths may also be classified or defined differently in various reporting and surveillance systems. Death counts in this report include laboratory confirmed COVID-19 deaths and clinically confirmed COVID-19 deaths. This includes deaths where COVID-19 is listed as a “presumed” or “probable” cause. Some local and state health departments only report laboratory-confirmed COVID deaths. This may partly account for differences between NCHS reported death counts and death counts reported in other sources. Provisional counts reported here track approximately 1–2 weeks behind other published data sources on the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. Comparing deaths from different states Death counts should not be compared across states. Data timeliness varies by state. Some states report deaths on a daily basis, while other states report deaths weekly or monthly. Furthermore, health departments and state vital record offices may be affected by COVID-19 related response activities, which could further delay death certificate reporting. Currently, 63% of U.S. deaths are reported within 10 days of the date of death, but there is variation within states. Twenty states report over 75% of deaths within the first 10 days, while three states report fewer than 1% of deaths within 10 days. References Office of Management and Budget. Revisions to the standards for the classification of federal data on race and ethnicity. Fed Regist 62(210):58782–90. 1997.

Tags: deaths, race, ethnicity, mortality, united states, state, covid-19, coronavirus, nchs, population

This dataset has the following 12 columns:

Column NameAPI Column NameData TypeSample Values
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