COVID is spreading 60% faster in rural areas

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by FEdart

*Note 1: This is U.S. data – sorry for not specifying in the title.

*Note 2: This has a rough adjustment for testing rates between rural and urban areas.

I have a small stats blog where I apply analytics to current events. Recently, it’s been mostly analyzing COVID. I decided to take a cross section of Rural vs. Urban America during the so-called “Third Wave” of COVID we’ve been experienced since about October. See here for a link to the full article. I knew rural areas were being hammered, but what I found in the data was startling. COVID was spreading 60% faster in rural areas (which seems counterintuitive considering population density…). And daily mortality rates were more than double in rural areas!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Source: Johns Hopkins collected COVID data (pre-Thanksgiving data)

Tool: R

Edit: I have gotten a couple questions asking about how I defined rural. I used a government code called “Rural Urban Continuum Code”. More information can be found here. Suburbs did not count as rural under this definition.


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