Since first recorded in China towards the end of 2019, COVID-19 has spread around the world, with Europe fast becoming one of the worst-affected regions. Initial statistics on the pandemic suggest that the 65 plus and especially 80 plus age group face the highest risk, which is of particular concern as the EU is home to a large aging population, as well as considerable variations across regions in terms of economic development.
The combination of these two points implies that different regions face different challenges in terms of the spread of the virus, the burden on countries’ public health and social security systems, and economic losses. IIASA researchers have been tracking the progression of the pandemic across the region and have made available maps that visualize key demographic and population information to help inform decisions by health professionals, governments, and policymakers.
The series of user-friendly maps visually explores a variety of demographic, socioeconomic, and health-related indicators, including migration and population changes, average household income, and the number of doctors and hospital beds available in each EU country. The visualizations are compiled using selected indicators from the publicly available Eurostat database and will be regularly updated to reflect changes in reported cases.
The team plans to continue expanding the current list of indicators to aid efforts to better understand the socioeconomic and demographic contexts under which the current COVID-19 crisis is unfolding. Work is also currently underway on an interactive website that will serve as a repository of all IIASA research related to COVID-19 and a platform to view and browse the latest updates, as well as historical versions of the maps.