Almost everyone has seen the controversies about which states have done better and which have done worse handling the COVID pandemic. A good measure is looking at how the most vulnerable group fared. By now, we know that the elderly are especially vulnerable to COVID. Therefore I’ll look only at population 65 and older. Fortunately, the CDC reports deaths by state for this population group. The CDC also reports 2021 population estimates by state and age group. (Extracting the data from each site is not easy. I’ll save you the trouble. Click here for my Excel workbook.)
The U.S. overall rate is 8,618.31 deaths per million population 65 and older. The states that performed worst are District of Columbia (15,566.24), New York (12,876.53), and New Jersey (12,040.40). The best were Hawaii (1,124.90), Vermont (1,475.63), and Alaska (2,100.23). California (7,352.30) is 31st out of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.