El Paso Matters is a member-supported, nonpartisan media organization that focuses on in-depth and investigative reporting about El Paso, Texas, Ciudad Juárez across the border in Mexico, and neighboring communities.
To analyze COVID deaths rates along the border with Mexico, KHN and El Paso Matters requested COVID-related death counts by age group and county from Texas, New Mexico, California and Arizona. California and Arizona were unable to fulfill the requests. The Texas Department of State Health Services and the New Mexico Department of Health provided death counts as of Jan. 31, 2021.
Texas’ data included totals by age group for border counties as a group and for the state with no suppression of data. New Mexico provided data for individual counties, and small numbers were suppressed, totaling 1.6% of all deaths in the state. (Data on deaths is commonly suppressed when it involves very small numbers to protect individual identities.)
National death counts by age group were calculated using provisional death data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and included deaths as of Jan. 31, 2021.
Rates were calculated per 100,000 people using the 2019 American Community Survey.
The ethnic breakdown in Texas’ border counties comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 population estimates.