Are Republican States Recovering Better From the Pandemic Than Democrat States?


Claims in the media have been made that Republican states are recovering better from the pandemic than Democrats states. We look at the numbers.

Data & Methodology

We collected the monthly unemployment numbers from the BLS for every state from the beginning of the pandemic. We then collected the data for the governor of each state and the party of each governor. We took the average and population weighted average of both Democrat and Republican states and plotted them on  time series.


First we plotted every state to look for a pattern. You can see the graph is fairly mess but a patter of blue states having higher unemployment does seem to appear.

We wanted to ensure that this pattern didn’t appear this way with some outliers so we plotted both the average with a minimum and maximum range as well as the average and standard deviation.

We can see that with the minimum/maximum graph there are indeed some outliers, most notably on the Democrat side in the early stages of the pandemic.

The most interesting observation we see here is in the standard deviation graphic. The high range for Republican unemployment is just above the Democratic average.

We checked out data by comparing the state average unemployment with a population weighted average unemployment. We can see minimal variance between the two making either a good surrogate for the other.


Republican states are indeed recovering better from the pandemic in terms of unemployment. The high range of Republican unemployment is just higher than the average Democratic unemployment.