How Coronavirus Cases in the Hardest-Hit U.S. States Compare to Entire Countries

Trucks used as temporary morgues are seen outside the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s office on May 12, 2020 in New York City.
Trucks used as temporary morgues are seen outside the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s office on May 12, 2020 in New York City.
Photo: Getty Images

As of today, there are over 4.2 million cases of covid-19 identified globally, and at least 292,376 deaths. The U.S. has been the hardest-hit country, with over 1.3 million cases and 82,389 deaths. Despite that fact, many states are deciding to “reopen” their economies this month. But sadly, some U.S. states are dealing with more cases than entire countries.


How do some states compare to countries like Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico? We’ve compiled some startling figures below from the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, providing a snapshot that gives some perspective on how America’s worst-hit states are faring on a global scale.

1) New York vs. Germany and Turkey

New York state

  • Population: 19.4 million
  • Cases: 338,485
  • Deaths: 27,284


  • Population: 83 million
  • Cases: 173,171
  • Deaths: 7,775


  • Population: 82 million
  • Cases: 141,475
  • Deaths: 3,894

The state of New York, with a population of 19.4 million, has roughly the same number of coronavirus cases as Germany (pop. of 83 million) and Turkey (82 million) combined. Germany has 173,171 cases and Turkey has 141,475 cases, which combined makes 314,646 cases. That’s slightly less than New York’s 338,485 cases.

2) New Jersey vs. Turkey

New Jersey

  • Population: 8.9 million
  • Cases: 140,917
  • Deaths: 9,531


  • Population: 82 million
  • Cases: 141,475
  • Deaths: 3,894

The state of New Jersey, with a population of 8.9 million, has 140,917 cases, roughly the same number of cases as Turkey, which has 141,475 cases of covid-19. New Jersey has more deaths, with 9,531 recorded to date, while Turkey has 3,894.

3) Illinois vs. China


  • Population: 12.7 million
  • Cases: 83,021
  • Deaths: 3,601


  • Population: 1.4 billion
  • Cases: 84,021
  • Deaths: 4,637

Illinois has slightly fewer reported cases with 83,021, than the entire country of China, the origin of the disease, which has recorded 84,021. China does have substantially more recorded deaths, however with 4,637 compared to Illinois, which as about a thousand fewer deaths.


4) Massachusetts vs. Saudi Arabia and Mexico


  • Population: 6.9 million
  • Cases: 79,332
  • Deaths: 5,141

Saudi Arabia

  • Population: 33.7 million
  • Cases: 42,925
  • Deaths: 273


  • Population: 126 million
  • Cases: 38,324
  • Deaths: 3,926

Massachusetts, with nearly 80,000 cases, has roughly the same number of cases as Saudi Arabia and Mexico combined. Saudi Arabia has 42,925 cases and Mexico has 38,324 cases.


5) California vs. Peru


  • Population: 39.5 million
  • Cases: 71,047
  • Deaths: 2,882


  • Population: 32 million
  • Cases: 72,059
  • Deaths: 2,057

California has slightly fewer cases at 71,047 than the country of Peru, which has 72,059 cases.


6) Pennsylvania vs. Belgium and Malaysia


  • Population: 12.8 million
  • Cases: 61,310
  • Deaths: 3,914


  • Population: 11.5 million
  • Cases: 53,981
  • Deaths: 8,843


  • Population: 31.5 million
  • Cases: 6,779
  • Deaths: 111

Pennsylvania has roughly the same number of cases as Belgium and Malaysia combined, with the state (technically PA is a commonwealth) suffering 61,310 cases. Belgium has 53,981 cases and Malaysia has 6,779 cases.


7) Michigan vs. The Netherlands and Nigeria


  • Population: 10 million
  • Cases: 48,021
  • Deaths: 4,674

The Netherlands

  • Population: 17.2 million
  • Cases: 43,410
  • Deaths: 5,581


  • Population: 196 million
  • Cases: 4,787
  • Deaths: 158

The state of Michigan has been particularly hard hit relative to its population, with 48,021 cases and 4,674 deaths. By comparison, the Netherlands, with almost twice the population, has 43,410 cases and 5,581 deaths. You have to add Nigeria’s case count of 4,787 to get close to Michigan’s total number of cases of covid-19.


8) Florida vs. Japan and Singapore


  • Population: 21.5 million
  • Cases: 41,923
  • Deaths: 1,779


  • Population: 126 million
  • Cases: 15,968
  • Deaths: 657


  • Population: 5.6 million
  • Cases: 25,346
  • Deaths: 21

The state of Florida has identified 41,923 cases and 1,779 deaths from covid-19. Japan has 15,968 cases and Singapore has 25,346 cases, which brings you roughly to the total case count in Florida.


9) Texas vs. Pakistan and Australia


  • Population: 29 million
  • Cases: 41,681
  • Deaths: 1,151


  • Population: 212 million
  • Cases: 34,336
  • Deaths: 737


  • Population: 25 million
  • Cases: 6,975
  • Deaths: 98

While Texas has 41,681 cases and 1,151 deaths, Australia, which has a very similar population, has just 6,975 cases and 98 deaths. You have to add on Pakistan’s case count of over 34,000 to catch up with Texas.


10) Georgia vs. Israel, Ukraine, and Cuba


  • Population: 10.6 million
  • Cases: 34,848
  • Deaths: 1,494


  • Population: 8.9 million
  • Cases: 16,539
  • Deaths: 262


  • Population: 42 million
  • Cases: 16,425
  • Deaths: 439


  • Population: 11.3 million
  • Cases: 1,804
  • Deaths: 78

Combining the totals for all three countries gives you 34,768, roughly the same as the case count in all of Georgia.


As Stat News points out, the U.S. only accounts for 4.25 percent of the world’s population, yet has roughly 32 percent of the world’s identified coronavirus cases and 28 percent of its deaths. And while these comparisons of states to entire countries is an imperfect way of measuring success, they do give a drive-by accounting of the situation in mid-May 2020.

As Dr. Anthony Fauci testified to a Senate committee yesterday, the number of deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. are likely much higher than the official figures, and that’s likely true in many other parts of the world as well. And a new report from the Daily Beast alleges that the Trump regime is trying to get officials at the CDC to change the way that deaths are reported—methods that would likely suppress the numbers further.


No one knows for sure what the next six months may hold for this global pandemic. But if the U.S. continues to see a rise in the number of cases nationally, while other countries are able to open up safely, we need to seriously reassess the perceived wisdom of everyone from media personalities to politicians. Because as my colleague Brian Kahn wrote recently, we can’t accept mass death as our new normal.



This is, for the most part, so much worse than comparing apples to oranges, and a complete waste of anyone’s time.

Mexico and Pakistan have conducted ~11,000 tests/million in the population(for reference the US is 30k/m...German 32k/m).

Ukraine is 4,000/m...Nigeria 138/m. WTF!

China??!! Gimme a break.

I’m all for breaking down the US’s complete failure to manage this crisis, because we absolutely have...but this isn’t productive at all.