Coronavirus in Rural America (Part CVIII): USDA ERS publishes 2020 "Rural America at a Glance," all about coronavirus
You can find it here, published just a couple of days ago. It takes a tried and true standard of the USDA Economic Research Service, "Rural America at a Glance," typically refreshed every 3 years or so and focused on economic metrics, and dedicates it entirely to the impacts of the coronavirus on rural America. That means data on coronavirus cases and deaths, but also on the economic consequences of the pandemic. Here's a sobering takeaway from the report:
The rural share of COVID-19 cases and deaths increased markedly during the fall of 2020. Rural areas have 14 percent of the population but accounted for 27 percent of COVID-19 deaths during the last 3 weeks of October 2020. Factors likely contributing to this higher rural share include an older population with underlying health issues, living farther away from hospitals, and who are less likely to have health insurance.
The report also includes a section on rural unemployment (mining counties have been hit worst, farming counties least impacted) and another on outbreaks in meatpacking plants, a topic that has drawn a lot of media coverage, most recently here. (Earlier blog posts on the topic are here, here, here, and here.
Here are two graphs about infection rates and deaths in non-metro counties:
Here's one about rural vulnerabilities, including distance to a hospital with an ICU:
Another recent piece, this one from Reid Wilson for The Hill, is also about coronavirus devastation in rural America.