Update to Covid-19 death comparison between Canada and the US

With a month of new Covid-19 data and employment data, the evidence I made reference to in my previous post can be updated. I’ll make a quick note here about it.

In August, the US saw more than 30,000 Covid-19 deaths. Canada saw 206. This amounts to a near 17 times difference in the rate of death–meaning that the average American was 17 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than the average Canadian in the month of August. I am not aware of any other cause of death, disease or injury that shows an equivalently striking difference between these two countries 1. For reference, the homicide rate in the US is only 2.8 times that of Canada.

The trend in employment growth remains about the same as in previous months. Canada saw a larger percent improvement in employment growth in August at 1.28% when compared to 1.08% in the US, but Canada is still slightly behind the overall return to normal (Canada is 5.57% below January employment and the US is 5.24% below January).

So far the message is clear: the behaviour of Canadians has saved lives that would not have been saved if Canadians adopted the US response to Covid-19. Let’s keep at it. Whatever we are doing seems to be working fairly well in comparison to the most available alternative approach.


  1. I did a quick and dirty estimate of curling related injuries based on some research and Internet-based data. Google says there are around 436,000 regular curlers Canada. In the US, Google says there are 25,000 registered curlers. The injury rate (per curling exposure) has been estimated at around 2 per 1000. Putting these numbers together suggests that the average Canadian has a 17 times greater risk of curling injury than the average American.