May 1. Coronavirus Risks by State for Seniors and the Vulnerable

May 1.  Coronavirus Risks by State for Seniors and the Vulnerable 

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation ( has analyzed health risks for severe Coronavirus cases by State, based on 34 criteria.  This is especially important now that 31 states are relaxing some restrictions this week, or even today.  We will present a few of these results.

At risks are adults over 65, and other adults with chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and COPD.

Nationwide, 92.6 million are at risk.  This is 37.6% of adults 18 and over.  For those 65 or over, there are 51.1 million, or 14.9% of the US populations, and they are 55.2% of the 92.6 million at risk.  Those 18-65 with vulnerabilities are 41.4 million, and they are 45% of those at risk.

Nationwide, 5.1 million are underinsured.

On top of that, CNN is reporting a study that the Coronavirus will be with us another 1 and 1/2 to 2 years, and 60%-70% will be exposed.  There will be a second big wave in the fall and winter.

Here is the KFF map of states by ranges of the Share of Adults 18 and Older at Higher Risk of Serious Illness.  The more than 40% at risk states are in the South, plus Michigan, New Hampshire, and Maine.  Most of the Southern states are opening up now, but Michigan is holding firm.  The exceptional highest at-risk state is West Virginia at 49.3%.

The KFF website also has a list of states and their separate percentages at risk.

The states with the greatest risk for Severe COVID-19 are shown below.


Table of Percent of All Adults at Risk, Adults at Risk in Millions, Share Under 65 at Risk, and  Share of All at-Risk Adults Over 65, for the most populous states.

State Percent Number Under 65 Over 65
CA 33.3 10.0 m 18.0 56.0
TX 34.8 7.2 m 21.4 48.8
FL 42.1 7.0 m 22.0 61.2
NY 36.9 5.5 m 20.4 56.1
PA 39.8 3.9 m 21.8 57.8
IL 36.2 3.5 m 20.2 55.3
OH 39.8 3.5 m 22.9 54.0
MI 41.2 3.2 m 24.7 53.2
GA 36.2 2.8 m 21.8 50.9

Poverty Rate:  NY13.6%; CA 12.8%; 

Uninsured Population:  NY 5.6%; CA 7.2%

Here are the states which are starting to reopen as of today, May 1, by CNN’s accounting.  Other sources have some differences.


About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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