COVID count: States ranked by vulnerability

JACKSON, Wyo. — With nearly 75 percent of patients hospitalized for coronavirus being at least 50 years old, and around 90 percent having pre-existing conditions, it’s important for states with larger vulnerable populations to have greater protective measures. Vulnerability isn’t just health-related, though, as many people are harmed by the economic effects of the pandemic.

To show where the biggest concentrations of “at-risk” people live, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the States with the Most Vulnerable Populations to Coronavirus.

To identify which states have the highest concentration of vulnerable people, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key metrics in three overall categories: medical vulnerability, housing vulnerability and financial vulnerability.

The data set ranges from the share of the population aged 65 and older to the share of the homeless population that is unsheltered and the share of the entire population living in poverty.


Key Stats

  • Florida has the highest share of the population 65 years and older, 19.70 percent, which is 1.9 times higher than in Utah, the lowest at 10.50 percent.
  • California has the highest share of the homeless population that is unsheltered, 71.68 percent, which is 33.3 times higher than in North Dakota, the lowest at 2.15 percent.
  • Texas has the highest share of the population that is uninsured, 17.40 percent, which is 6.2 times higher than in Massachusetts, the lowest at 2.80 percent.
  • Wyoming has the highest share of households in poverty not receiving food stamps, 76.16 percent, which is 1.7 times higher than in Rhode Island, the lowest at 44.21 percent.
  • North Carolina has the lowest unemployment recipiency rate, 9.32 percent, which is 6.1 times lower than in New Jersey, the highest at 57.17 percent.

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