In this brief, author Kenneth Johnson estimates the influence that the local age structure has on coronavirus death rates among those exposed to it in rural and urban counties in the United States. He reports that the older age structure of rural America increases its vulnerability to the coronavirus. Though rural exposure to the virus was limited early in the pandemic, it is now spreading rapidly there. Rural America’s older age structure increases expected mortality rates there, but other factors also influence its vulnerability to the virus. The fates of rural and urban America are inextricably intertwined, so responding to the virus must address the needs of rural as well as urban America.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Spring 4-10-2020


National Issue Brief No. 147


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

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