OASIS Online Analystical Statistical Information System

Gordon County had more deaths than births last year, according to a new statistical report from the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Locally, there were 642 births and 682 deaths. That’s a loss of 40 total Gordon County citizens.

COVID-19 was attributed to 61 of those deaths, followed by heart disease with 54.

COPD was a close third, taking 52 residents while 40 succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. Another 32 were killed by cancer of the trachea, bronchus or lungs and 20 died from strokes and other cerebrovascular diseases.

Most counties in Northwest Georgia, with the exception of Bartow, Paulding and Whitfield, mirrored Gordon County’s distinction of having more deaths than births but statewide, Georgia recorded 122,379 births and 103,114 deaths — a net gain of 19,265 people in 2020.

Statewide, however, that wasn’t the case.

Heart disease remained the No. 1 killer in Northwest Georgia, but COVID-19 was a close second.

Public health data is housed in OASIS — the state’s Online Analytical Statistical Information System. The interactive site offers tools to track and compare a full range of physical and behavioral health trends by location and demographics.

Overall, the 14th Congressional District, including Gordon, had 302 more deaths than births. Taking a narrower scope, Floyd and its seven neighboring counties in the far northwest corner of the state recorded 762 more deaths than births. That includes Bartow, which is not in the 14th district.

Between 2016 and 2020, heart and vascular disease was the No. 1 cause of death in Georgia. Rounding out the top five were COPD (except for asthma); Alzheimer’s disease; malignant neoplasms — cancer — of the trachea, bronchus and lung; and cerebrovascular disease, most commonly a stroke.

Floyd County

OASIS numbers show 1,119 babies born to Floyd County residents in 2020, and 1,346 deaths. That’s a loss of 227 people — although it does not include people who have moved into or out of the county.

Between 2016 and 2020, heart and vascular disease was the No. 1 cause of death in Georgia. Rounding out the top five were COPD (except for asthma); Alzheimer’s disease; malignant neoplasms — cancer — of the trachea, bronchus and lung; and cerebrovascular disease, most commonly a stroke.

COVID-19 entered the mix in 2020. In Floyd and its seven neighboring counties a total of 567 people died of heart disease, but COVID-19 caused the deaths of 507.

While the historical top five diseases killed 381 Floyd County residents in 2020 — heart disease accounted for 121 — COVID-19 was in second place with 107 victims.

COPD accounted for 67 deaths; stroke took another 67; Alzheimer’s was listed as the cause of 65 deaths; and lung cancer fell to sixth place with 61 deaths.

Polk County

Polk County registered a loss of 18 residents, with 553 births and 571 deaths drawn from the DPH’s Office of Vital Records.

Heart disease was the cause of death for 68 Polk residents, followed by COVID-19 with 46 people killed by the virus in 2020.

COPD was in third place, with 32 deaths; lung, throat and bronchus cancers killed 30; Alzheimer’s was the cause of death for 29; and 28 residents died of strokes or other cerebrovascular diseases.

Bartow County

In Bartow County, there were 1,311 live births compared to 1,209 deaths, for a gain of 102 people.

COVID-19 caused the most deaths in Bartow in 2020, with a toll of 116. Heart disease was second, with 82.

COPD was the cause listed for 64 deaths, followed by cancer at 61, Alzheimer’s at 57 and stroke at 56.

Chattooga County

Chattooga County recorded 258 births and 385 deaths, for a loss of 127 people.

COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in 2020, accounting for 36 fatalities. Heart disease fell to second place with 33 deaths.

COPD took 30 people, Alzheimer’s took 28, cancer accounted for 20 deaths and stroke was the sixth-place killer with 7 victims.

Walker County

In Walker County, there was a net loss of 242 people, with 727 births and 969 deaths recorded in 2020.

Heart disease was the No. 1 killer in Walker in 2020, with 81 deaths, followed by 69 deaths from COPD.

The novel coronavirus spread slower there last year, with 62 deaths listed from COVID-19. (As of Thursday the total was 102.) Alzheimer’s and strokes were responsible for 46 deaths each in 2020 and cancer killed 36.

Catoosa County

Catoosa County recorded 701 births compared to 822 deaths, for a loss of 121 residents.

Heart disease took 97 residents, according to OASIS data, and COVID-19 killed 70.

COPD was responsible for 60 deaths; stroke for 46; cancer for 40 and Alzheimer’s for 35.

Dade County

Dade County — closest to Chattanooga, Tennessee — registered a loss of 89 people through 152 births and 241 deaths.

Heart disease, with 31 deaths, and COPD with 17 were the top two causes of death. Another 16 people died of strokes or other cerebrocascular disease and 13 died of cancer of the trachea, bronchus or lungs.

COVID-19 tied with Alzheimer’s in Catoosa, with 9 deaths attributed to each. (As of Thursday just 15 people in Dade had died of COVID-19, one of the lower death rates in the state and the lowest in Northwest Georgia.)

Some of the other five counties in the 14th Congressional District fared better in terms of vital statistics for 2020:

♦ Paulding County had a gain of 693 people, with 1,987 births compared to 1,294 deaths.

♦ Whitfield County gained 181, through 1,245 births and 1,064 deaths.

♦ Haralson County had 363 births and 475 deaths, for a loss of 112 people.

♦ Murray County had 418 births compared to 485 deaths, a loss of67 residents.

♦ Pickens County lost 133 people, with 285 births and 418 deaths. Only half of Pickens County is in the 14th District.

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NORTHWEST GEORGIA BIRTHS/DEATHS 2020

COUNTY DEATHS BIRTHS GAIN/LOSS
Floyd County 1,346 1,119 -227
Polk County 571 553 -18
Bartow County 1,209 1,311 +102
Chattooga County 385 258 -127
Gordon County 682 642 -40
Walker County 969 727 -242
Catoosa County 822 701 -121
Dade County 241 152 -89
Paulding County 1,294 1,987 +693
Whitfield County 1,064 1,245 +181
Haralson County 475 363 -112
Murray County 485 418 -67
Pickens County 418 285 -133
GEORGIA 103,114 122,379 +19,265

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