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Mar 25, 2022

Census Bureau Says COVID Drove Largest Spike in U.S. Deaths in a Century

COVID-19 drove the largest death spike in a century, with 535,000 more deaths in 2020 than in 2019, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau data.

Why it matters: The new data shows how profoundly the pandemic has impacted the U.S. population, as Americans died or fled cities for the sanctuary of cheaper or less populous areas.

By the numbers: There was a 19% jump in the number of U.S. deaths between 2019 and 2020. Before then, the largest increase of the decade had been just 3.3% in 2015.

The U.S. death toll remained high in 2021, according to the latest provisional data for the year, and the pandemic has disrupted what were once predictable, seasonal mortality trends.

The overall rise in mortality contributed to deaths outpacing births in more than 73% of U.S. counties between mid-2020 and mid-2021 — a record high and up from 56% the year before and 46% in 2019.

Half of states saw more deaths than births, a phenomenon called “natural decrease.” The trend was particularly clear in the Northeast and the South, according to the census bureau.

Every county in Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island experienced a natural decrease.

You can read more in an article by Stef W. Kight published in the Axios.com web site at: https://bit.ly/3tCVT1O