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5 High-Population States and Key COVID-19 Indicators

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For life insurers, one helpful way to look at COVID-19 pandemic tracking data is to focus on the numbers for the states with the most residents.

In November, for example, key COVID-19 indicators for North Dakota and South Dakota, such as the COVID-19 death rate per 100,000 residents per week, looked grim, but few life insurers have a large number of life insurance policyholders or annuity contract owners in the Dakotas.

Typical life insurers sell much of their coverage in high-population states. The five most populous states are home to about 123 million of the United States’ 330 million people, and more than one-third of life insurers’ customers.


For a look at how the five highest-population states are doing in terms of three COVID-19 pandemic tracking indicators, based on data compiled by The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, see the slideshow above.

In areas like the Upper Midwest, some important indicators, such as new case counts, appear to be moving in the right direction.

But, on Wednesday, figures for the five biggest states showed that:

  • 3 in 5 were reporting at least 10% more new cases for the most recent day in the data than they had had reported a week earlier.
  • The number of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) increased in all five of the highest-population states.
  • The number of COVID-19-related deaths increased in 4 of the 5 highest population rates.

— Read 10 Worst State COVID-19 Death Rates, From a Leaked Government Reporton ThinkAdvisor.

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