Floridians are some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19

by | May 12, 2020

Florida has the seventh most vulnerable population to COVID-19, according to a study released by WalletHub on Tuesday.

With nearly 75 percent of patients hospitalized for coronavirus being at least 50 years old, and around 90 percent having pre-existing conditions, Florida remains a hotbed for the coronavirus. And as the Sunshine State’s elderly population continues to grow at a rapid pace — with the U.S. Census Bureau estimating that 32.5 percent of the state’s population will be 60 and older by the year 2030 — it’s important for the state to have greater protective measures.

But vulnerability isn’t just health-related, though, as many people are harmed by the economic effects of the pandemic. To show where the biggest concentrations of “at-risk” people live, the personal-finance website today released its report on the States with the Most Vulnerable Populations to Coronavirus

In order to find out which states have the highest concentrations of vulnerable people across all three categories, the personal-finance compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key metrics. The data set ranges from the share of the population aged 65 and older to the share of the homeless population that is unsheltered and the share of the entire population living in poverty.

Below, you can see highlights from the report, which includes five of the biggest factors that contributed to Florida’s ranking.

Coronavirus Vulnerability in Florida (1=Most, 25=Avg.):

  • 1st – Share of Population Aged 65 & Older
  • 15th – Share of Population Diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • 8th – Share of Unsheltered Homeless Population
  • 23rd – Share of Households in Poverty Not Receiving Food Stamps
  • 2nd – Unemployment Insurance Recipiency Rate

Florida’s high ranking comes as no surprise, with the state having the highest share of the elderly population — 65 or older. But according to Analyst Jill Gonzalez, age is just one component in the ranking, with pre-existing conditions being a major factor.

“Florida does have the highest share of the elderly population. With that comes a lot of other pre-existing conditions…everything from higher rates of heart disease to diabetes to cancer, all of these things that do put people more at risk,” Gonzalez said in an interview with iHeartRadio.

“We look at the medically vulnerable, the elderly population, but also we look at housing vulnerability and financial vulnerability.”

While New York remains the epicenter of the disease — with more cases than many countries — they only rank 27th on WalletHub’s list.

Today’s report, however, does not measure total cases or death rate, but purely the population in terms of what they have medically and financially.

States more vulnerable than Florida include Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and West Virginia.

For the full report, click HERE.


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