Economics at your fingertips  

Population age structure only partially explains the large number of COVID-19 deaths at the oldest ages

Anthony Medford and Sergi Trias-Llimós
Additional contact information
Anthony Medford: Syddansk Universitet
Sergi Trias-Llimós: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Demographic Research, 2020, vol. 43, issue 19, 533-544

Abstract: Background: To date, any attention paid to the age shape of COVID-19 deaths has been mostly in relation to understanding the differences in case fatality rates between countries. Objective: We explore differences in the age distribution of deaths from COVID-19 among six European countries which have old age structures. We do this by way of a cross-country comparison and put forward some reasons for potential differences. Methods: We estimate the distribution of deaths by 10-year age groups and the counterfactual age distribution under the assumption that all populations had the age structure of Italy. For this, we use 10-year age-grouped COVID-19 death counts and the corresponding population exposures for France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain, and China. Results: All included European countries experienced a high proportion of deaths at older ages. The relative proportion of deaths at ages above 90 years is lowest in Italy when compared to the other countries in the study despite Italy having the oldest population in Europe. Contribution: Population age structure seems essential for understanding COVID-19-related mortality, but other factors may play an important role, particularly at older ages in European populations.

Keywords: COVID-19; death; age distribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J1 Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2020.43.19

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Demographic Research from Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Editorial Office ().

Page updated 2021-03-04
Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:43:y:2020:i:19