Dec 21, 2021 - COVID

Arkansas lags on Politico's scorecard

Illustration of a pattern of covid cells.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Arkansas received an overall score of 47 out of 100 for how it handled the pandemic, according to an analysis by Politico.

What's happening: The news site's State Pandemic Scorecard evaluated how policy choices impacted the residents of all 50 states, categorized by health, economy, social well-being and education.

Why it matters: There was no playbook for state leaders about how to deal with the pandemic. Policy choices they made had widespread and lasting effects on residents.

Zoom out: States with more restrictions had lower rates of death and hospitalization but fared worse economically and educationally, Politico found.

  • States dependent on tourism suffered the most economically.
  • Rural states had better economic and educational outcomes but tended to do worse in health.

Zoom in: Of the four categories, Arkansas ranked best in economy, scoring an 82 out of 100, due to good employment and a strong statewide gross domestic product. By comparison, the overall U.S. rank was 52.

  • Education scored 60 with continued good enrollment and some learning losses in math and reading.
  • Social well-being scored 26 due to increased food insecurity and violent crime, and residents having difficulty meeting household expenses.

Arkansas' worst showing was in health, scoring a 20 of 100. This was due to high rates of death and hospitalizations, and low rates of testing and vaccinations.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios NW Arkansas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More NW Arkansas stories

NW Arkansaspostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios NW Arkansas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more