GOBankingRates

How the Economy Is Doing in 30 Coronavirus Hot Spots

choness / Getty Images/iStockphoto

choness / Getty Images/iStockphoto

America is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with people everywhere facing difficult choices about how to balance their health with the economic needs of their families. However, the twin threats of the crisis — the virus itself and the financial catastrophe of being unable to work — have hit different places in different ways. Depending on where you live, a coronavirus outbreak can land with much greater force on the local economy.

To help illustrate this, GOBankingRates looked at the 30 counties with the most cases of coronavirus in the United States to measure how severe the accompanying economic decline really is. The study lays out where each county stands in terms of the unemployment rate and the percentage of families living there who are having trouble paying the rent or putting food on the table.

So which counties already struggling with an outbreak also are dealing with serious financial pain? Here’s a look at the counties that are stuck between a rock and a hard place and looking for a way out.

Last updated: Nov. 13, 2020

Make Your Money Work for You
pidjoe / Getty Images

New York County, New York

  • Population: 1,632,480
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 35,897
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 2,199
  • Unemployment rate: 10.9%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Shelby County, Tennessee

  • Population: 937,005
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 36,855
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,933
  • Unemployment rate: 9.9%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 10.2%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.6%
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

  • Population: 1,575,522
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 38,334
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 2,433
  • Unemployment rate: 11.7%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.1%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 9.4%
bigapple / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Westchester County, New York

  • Population: 968,815
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 40,322
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 4,162
  • Unemployment rate: 7.0%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%
Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images

Wayne County, Michigan

  • Population: 1,761,382
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 40,396
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 2,293
  • Unemployment rate: 12.8%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 10.8%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 13.7%

El Paso County, Texas

  • Population: 837,654
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 42,332
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 5,054
  • Unemployment rate: 8.7%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 6.4%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 12.5%
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

  • Population: 954,209
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 42,776
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 4,481
  • Unemployment rate: 7.3%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 6.8%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 6.9%

Make Your Money Work for You
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Orange County, Florida

  • Population: 1,321,194
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 45,494
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,443
  • Unemployment rate: 10.4%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 6.9%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 12.9%
strickke / iStock.com

Salt Lake County, Utah

  • Population: 1,120,805
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 45,969
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 4,101
  • Unemployment rate: 5.2%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 4.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 6.6%
wellesenterprises / Getty Images

Hillsborough County, Florida

  • Population: 1,378,883
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct.17): 47,371
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,435
  • Unemployment rate: 6.2%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 6.9%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 12.9%

More Struggles: People in These States Are Having the Hardest Time Paying Rent

Elzbieta Sekowska / Shutterstock.com

Suffolk County, New York

  • Population: 1,487,901
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 48,829
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,282
  • Unemployment rate: 6.2%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%
Alex Potemkin / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nassau County, New York

  • Population: 1,356,564
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 49,496
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,649
  • Unemployment rate: 6.6%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%
©Shutterstock.com

Palm Beach County, Florida

  • Population: 1,446,277
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 51,172
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,538
  • Unemployment rate: 7.0%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 13.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 15.5%
Art Wager / Getty Images

San Diego County, California

  • Population: 3,302,833
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 55,210
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 1,672
  • Unemployment rate: 9.0%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 6.0%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 10.6%

Make Your Money Work for You
Anthony22 / Wikimedia Commons

Bronx County, New York

  • Population: 1,437,872
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 55,213
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,840
  • Unemployment rate: 18.8%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%
Dorti / Shutterstock.com

Tarrant County, Texas

  • Population: 2,019,977
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 58,255
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 2,884
  • Unemployment rate: 7.8%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 4.2%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%
NAPA74 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Orange County, California

  • Population: 3,164,182
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 59,980
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 1,864
  • Unemployment rate: 9.0%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 9.7%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 13.5%
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

San Bernardino County, California

  • Population: 2,135,413
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 63,637
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 2,980
  • Unemployment rate: 10.3%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 7.2%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 11.6%

Be Aware: A Coronavirus Downturn Will Hurt These 50 Housing Markets the Most

dszc / Getty Images

Bexar County, Texas

  • Population: 1,925,865
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 64,941
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,372
  • Unemployment rate: 8.1%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 6.4%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 12.5%
Stephen Batiz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Riverside County, California

  • Population: 2,383,286
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 66,993
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 2,811
  • Unemployment rate: 10.5%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 7.2%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 11.6%

Check Out: These States Have the Best Chance To Bounce Back From the Coronavirus Unemployment Tsunami

Make Your Money Work for You
Boogich / iStock.com

Kings County, New York

  • Population: 2,600,747
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 74,903
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 2,880
  • Unemployment rate: 14.1%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%

Wear a Mask or Pay a Fine: This Is What Cities Are Charging

pisaphotography / Shutterstock.com

Queens County, New York

  • Population: 2,298,513
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 76,523
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,329
  • Unemployment rate: 13.8%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%
bluejayphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Clark County, Nevada

  • Population: 2,141,574
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 79,782
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,725
  • Unemployment rate: 14.8%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 13.6%
©Shutterstock.com

Broward County, Florida

  • Population: 1,909,151
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 84,338
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 4,418
  • Unemployment rate: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 13.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 15.5%
Patricia Elaine Thomas / Shutterstock.com

Dallas County, Texas

  • Population: 2,586,552
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 93,939
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,632
  • Unemployment rate: 8.3%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 4.2%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.3%
Art Wager / Getty Images

Maricopa County, Arizona

  • Population: 4,253,913
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 155,458
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,632
  • Unemployment rate: 6.3%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 6.1%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 8.1%
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Harris County, Texas

  • Population: 4,602,523
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 159,272
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,461
  • Unemployment rate: 10%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 5.8%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 13.6%

Make Your Money Work for You
Mlenny / Getty Images

Cook County, Illinois

  • Population: 5,223,719
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 178,832
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 3,423
  • Unemployment rate: 12.4%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 8.5%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 10.8%
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Miami-Dade County, Florida

  • Population: 2,715,516
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 183,250
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 6,748
  • Unemployment rate: 13.0%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 13.3%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 15.5%
Ingus Kruklitis / Getty Images

Los Angeles County, California

  • Population: 10,098,052
  • Number of COVID-19 cases (Oct. 17): 302,077
  • Cases per 100,000 people: 2,991
  • Unemployment rate: 15.1%
  • Households experiencing housing insecurity: 9.7%
  • Households experiencing food scarcity: 13.5%

More From GOBankingRates

Jordan Rosenfeld contributed to the reporting for this article.

Photo disclaimer: Photos are for illustrative purposes and depict one major city in each county.

Methodology: In order to understand how the economy is doing in major coronavirus hot spots around the country, GOBankingRates first identified the 30 counties in the U.S. with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to USA Facts data published on the Center for Disease Control’s COVID Data Tracker. Then, GOBankingRates found each county’s (1) total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, (2) total population according to the Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, and (3) June 2020 unemployment rate according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In order to provide a fuller picture of the local economy, GOBankingRates referenced the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ information on statistical area designation to find each county’s corresponding Metropolitan Statistical Area. For each MSA, GOBankingRates then found (4) the percent of households that reported experiencing housing insecurity as of the week of July 16-21, (5) the percent of households that reported experiencing food scarcity as of the week of July 16-21, and (6) the most up-to-date available data (June or July 2020) on the year-over-year percent change in the Consumer Price Index. Factors (4) and (5) were sourced from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, while factor (6) was sourced from the BLS. Regional or state-level data was supplemented for select counties for which corresponding MSA data was unavailable. Counties are in order of the lowest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to highest. All data was collected on and up to date as of Aug. 17, 2020.