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How does mortality differ across countries?
One of the most important ways to measure the burden of COVID-19 is mortality. Countries throughout the world have reported very different case fatality ratios – the number of deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases. Differences in mortality numbers can be caused by:
- Differences in the number of people tested: With more testing, more people with milder cases are identified. This lowers the case-fatality ratio.
- Demographics: For example, mortality tends to be higher in older populations.
- Characteristics of the healthcare system: For example, mortality may rise as hospitals become overwhelmed and have fewer resources.
- Other factors, many of which remain unknown.
This page was last updated on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 08:42 PM EDT.
Mortality in the most affected countries
For the twenty countries currently most affected by COVID-19 worldwide, the bars in the chart below show the number of deaths either per 100 confirmed cases (observed case-fatality ratio) or per 100,000 population (this represents a country’s general population, with both confirmed cases and healthy people). Countries at the top of this figure have the most deaths proportionally to their COVID-19 cases or population, not necessarily the most deaths overall.