The Economic Perspective: “Factors Related to Virus Death Rates”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at factors related to virus death rates.  Mike, although the coronavirus has impacted almost every part of the country, it hasn’t affected localities equally. Has there been any analysis yet on factors related to a higher death rate or a lower death rate from the disease?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • Yes, already some analysis
  • Factors strongly related to higher death rate: age, and density of locality
  • Also, to a lesser degree, prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and smoking are associated with higher death rates
  • Related to lower death rates: amount of social distancing three weeks prior, income, and ICU beds per 100,000 people
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.