Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

COVID-19, short for the coronavirus disease 2019, has spread to almost every country and territory around the world, infecting millions of people and devastating the global economy. As of September 12, 2022, the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide had reached almost 614 million. In addition, the number of deaths from COVID-19 was 6.5 million. The United States is the country with the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths. The U.S. government’s overall response to the pandemic has been criticized, and state governments have also come under fire for enforcing rules that were not tough enough and lifting restrictions too early. However, the country’s vaccination rollout has been a success, with the U.S. one of the countries with the highest number of vaccinations administered worldwide. Nevertheless, experts continue to warn against complacency and stress the importance of following guidelines and remaining vigilant to avoid another rise in new cases. This is particularly important considering the increasing number of cases caused by new COVID-19 variants.

Statistic: Total number of cases and deaths from coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States as of April 21, 2020* | Statista

The U.S. government’s response to COVID-19

As of September 9, 2022, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States had reached almost 95 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Testing for the virus ran into some early problems when initial diagnostic kits from the CDC were found to be defective. However, the number of COVID-19 tests performed in the United States has reached 1.1 billion, which is the most of any country. Reacting to the rising number of cases at the start of 2020, many states encouraged self-isolation and working from home. To further prevent the spread of the virus, most states also closed bars and restaurants, canceled public events, and banned large gatherings. At the end of March 2020, it was estimated that over 90 percent of the U.S. population was under some kind of stay-at-home order.

In order to revive local economies, many states began lifting lockdown restrictions and reopening at the end of May 2020, despite warnings that it was still too early. The second wave of infection was brought under control in the summer, but the number of new daily COVID-19 cases surged in the second half of the year. The government has faced criticism, especially in the first year of the pandemic, with many pointing to contradictory statements from the White House regarding the severity of the outbreak and a general lack of leadership and guidance. A Statista survey that ran from March to May 2020 found that U.S. adults were consistently less satisfied with their government’s response to COVID-19 than their counterparts in Germany and the United Kingdom.

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign that began in December 2020 can so far be counted as a victory. There are currently three vaccines approved for distribution and administration in the United States. These are the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen. According to the CDC, the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the United States had reached almost 611 million as of September 7, 2022. The states that have administered the highest number of vaccinations are California, Texas, and New York. The share of the U.S. population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has reached almost 67 percent. However, the number of people getting vaccinated has slowed considerably with the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories likely playing a major role in many people's decision not to get vaccinated. In a survey from January 2021, the proportion of adult Americans who would not get a COVID-19 vaccine was just over 20 percent.

Deaths caused by COVID-19

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States had reached almost 1.08 million as of September 12, 2022. In the first year of the pandemic, the disease killed more people in the U.S. than influenza, strokes, suicides, and car crashes do in a typical year, combined, making COVID-19 the third leading cause of death in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer. The disease is far worse than many first thought: According to a survey from March 2020, U.S. public opinion on the expected number of COVID-19 fatalities was way off the mark, with only 12 percent of adults believing more than 10,000 people would die in the U.S. over the next year. At the end of that month, the White House’s coronavirus task force estimated between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans could die – the actual death toll has been far greater. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable to the illness, which is clearly visible when looking at the distribution of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. by age.

Statistic: Number of deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), pneumonia, and influenza in the U.S. as of April 5, 2021 | Statista

Which states have been most affected by COVID-19?

States have reported significant differences in rates of cases and deaths. The impact of COVID-19 on New York has been substantial, particularly during the early months of the pandemic. However, California, Texas, and Florida have now reported the highest number of cases in the United States. Moreover, COVID-19 case rates in the U.S. by state show that Alaska, Rhode Island, and North Dakota have been hit hardest. Death rates are highest in Mississippi and Arizona, although California has reported the highest number of total deaths.

The economic impact of COVID-19 in the U.S.

The impact of COVID-19 on the global economy has been significant, and the United States has not escaped the damage caused. The unemployment rate reached almost 15 percent in April 2020, although by mid-2022 it had dropped to almost pre-pandemic levels. To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy, the government has enacted six major bills, totaling around 5.7 trillion U.S. dollars. The latest bill was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act provided 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars in relief in various forms, including direct payments to individuals, direct aid to local and state governments, and an extension to unemployment benefits. A March 2021 survey found that a sizeable share of U.S. adults supported the economic relief package.

For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

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