Rich or poor, rural or urban, COVID-19 infects everyone


DENVER (KDVR) — At the beginning of the move to Level Red for many Coloradans, nothing points to any demographic as uniquely susceptible to the virus. Where there are people, it spreads.

Economically disadvantaged counties do not have higher current case rates per 100,000 than wealthier counties, and in fact more low case rates are concentrated in poorer counties than rich ones.

Case rates per 100,000 do not trend upward or downward with median household income per county. Douglas County, the state’s richest, has a case rate 30% higher than Costilla County, the state’s poorest.

The two counties with the highest case rates – Crowley and Logan counties – bookend the middle third of the counties ranked by average income.

Averages largely dismiss a link between county income levels and case rates.

Colorado has 64 counties. This graph’s four bars represent the average median income of groups of 16 counties, ranked highest to lowest.

The group of counties with the lowest average median income has almost the exact average cases per 100,000 as the counties with the highest average income.

Viewed a different way, the group of 16 counties with the lowest average case rate has an average median income lower than any other group.

The chart below splits the state into four groups again, this time based on the average case rate.

The group of counties with the lowest average case rate also makes on average $7,000 a year less per household than the group with the highest average case rate.

Meanwhile the group of counties with the highest average income has the second highest case rate.

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