Updated: Safest States During the Coronavirus Pandemic – WalletHub Study

With around 40% of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of May 26, and vaccination being an essential component for full reopening of the economy, WalletHub today released updated rankings for the Safest States During COVID-19, along with accompanying videos and audio files.

In order to find out the safest states during the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics. Our data set includes the rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations and death, as well as the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

Safest Least Safe
1. Vermont 42. Missouri
2. Hawaii 43. Arizona
3. California 44. Louisiana
4. New Hampshire 45. Wyoming
5. Rhode Island 46. Kentucky
6. Alaska 47. Pennsylvania
7. Massachusetts 48. Michigan
8. Connecticut 49. Georgia
9. Oklahoma 50. Florida
10. Nebraska 51. West Virginia

Note: Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:

WalletHub Q&A

U.S. daily COVID-19 cases have dropped below 25,000 for the first time since June 2020. What does this indicate about our safety?

“The fact that daily COVID-19 cases have dropped below 25,000 is extremely encouraging for our future safety. With only around 50% of the population fully vaccinated so far, we have dropped daily cases to 10% of the peak in January,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Many more Americans are partially vaccinated or will receive their first dose in the future as younger age groups become eligible. As a result, we should expect a continued decline in cases, which will help us achieve a full reopening and keep Americans safe during summer travel.”

What will be the impact on safety in the U.S. due to the expansion of the Pfizer shot to children as young as 12?

“The safety level in the U.S. will increase now that the Pfizer vaccine will be available to children as young as 12. Millions more people will now have the opportunity to get protected, which will boost our chances of reaching herd immunity,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Vaccinating children in this age group will help reduce the chances of coronavirus spreading in middle schools this fall, and it will be especially helpful for children who live with family members who are elderly or immunocompromised.”

How will warmer weather affect people’s safety in relation to COVID-19?

“Warmer weather should have a positive impact on safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, as restaurants and events will offer socially-distanced outside seating, which is safer than gathering inside. Businesses and events can expand their capacity limits without compromising safety as a result,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “We should expect warmer weather, combined with accelerated vaccine distribution, to quicken the pace of reopening.”

What actions can residents take in order to increase the safety of their community and their state?

“The most important thing that residents can do to increase the safety of their community and state is to get vaccinated. While the vaccines being offered have a high efficacy, how well they are able to curb the pandemic also depends on the share of the population that chooses to get vaccinated,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Until we achieve widespread vaccination and get the pandemic under control, people should continue to wear masks in public and practice social distancing to achieve the highest level of safety possible.”

Is Alaska, the state with the lowest death rate, one of the states that is vaccinating most?

“Despite reporting no deaths in the past week, Alaska ranks as the 22nd lowest when it comes to the share of the population age 12 and over who have received at least one dose of the vaccine,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Increasing the number of people vaccinated is essential for getting control of the pandemic.”