FILE - Virus Outbreak Iowa

A medical staff administer COVID-19 tests to the public in the Iowa Events Center parking lot, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.

(The Center Square) – Iowa’s COVID-19 recovery is the quickest in the nation, according to a WalletHub study released Tuesday.

Iowa ranked first in the nation, earning a total score of 75.25 out of possible 100. WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across three categories: 1) COVID Health; 2) Leisure and Travel; and 3) Economy & Labor Market.

The first category is comprised of data in such subcategories as number of vaccinated residents; share of vaccine supply used; positive testing rate; hospitalization rate, death rate; and share of hospitals with staff/equipment shortages. Iowa was ranked 7th in this category.

“Iowa is one of only eight states in which no hospitals reported having supply shortages in the past week, too, and it has one of the lowest shares of COVID-related doctor visits in the past week,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said.

Leisure and Travel includes measurements in the number of daily restaurant visits; seated diners at restaurants compared to pre-COVID levels; a retail and recreation mobility index; and restrictions of gatherings of 25 people or less. Iowa finished 2nd in this category.

Economy & Labor Market includes pre- and post-COVID unemployment levels; real GDP; consumer spending; small business openings and work hours; and real estate listings. Iowa was ranked 5th in this category.

“Iowa ranks as having the quickest recovery from COVID-19 in part because it is one of only three states in the country that experienced an increase in small-business work hours compared to pre-pandemic levels,” Gonzalez said.

“A state's climate can have a big impact on its recovery, too," Gonzalez continued. "States that are warmer, like Florida, allow people to be outside more easily, which gives extra protection to the elderly and other vulnerable demographics. This has led to an economic boom for warmer states, and as people consider where to relocate after the pandemic, climate and tax rates will be among the biggest factors in their decisions.”

Below is a list of the national rankings by state, states' total scores, and rankings according to COVID Health, Leisure & Travel and Economy & Labor Market.

3Alaska72.181627
28Hawaii53.7425150
8Connecticut63.6833345
13Vermont59.9944828
14Massachusetts59.2954349
2Nebraska73.05694
1Iowa75.25725
5New Hampshire65.3183117
35New York52.3194551
25California55.15104447
16Virginia57.61113738
11Maine61.00121235
7Kansas64.61131315
6Utah64.8114266
31New Jersey52.85154148
21Nevada56.16162546
23Maryland55.60174230
30District of Columbia53.32184626
4South Dakota68.991912
18Rhode Island57.48202329
17North Carolina57.52212825
42Washington49.31225013
29Colorado53.35233537
15North Dakota58.45241123
20Minnesota57.11253016
36New Mexico51.58263936
12Mississippi60.1727148
10Idaho61.6328103
27Tennessee54.29291832
9Arkansas62.113039
49Oregon45.69314922
37Texas51.26322743
40Illinois49.95333641
19Wisconsin57.12342110
32Ohio52.67351933
26Kentucky54.92361724
24South Carolina55.45372014
34Oklahoma52.5238739
22Missouri56.1239421
46Pennsylvania47.42404040
45Delaware47.74413234
48Louisiana46.30423442
43Arizona49.22433819
38Florida50.23442920
39Wyoming50.0945531
33Indiana52.62461612
51Michigan38.28474744
47Georgia46.57482418
44Montana48.234987
41Alabama49.3150221
50West Virginia41.17511511

Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

Regional Editor

Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.