COVID-19: Cases and Deaths by Latitude

I saw a chart a while back that predicted the cases/deaths by latitude. They plotted it over the world map and had colorbands describing COVID-19 potential risk. Something like that… But based on the amount of data we have, that’s a pretty wild, probably overfit, prediction.

Here’s what we DO know about cases by latitude. This chart shows total confirmed cases and deaths stacked on one bar (light blue+red) and current (yesterday) reported cases and deaths stacked on a second bar (green+dark orange).

Takeaway: Most of the cases have occurred between 30 and 60 degrees latitude. Around 40-45% of the world’s population does live in this belt, of course. But we have 92.5% of the cases in this range!

Any ideas why??

2 Replies to “COVID-19: Cases and Deaths by Latitude”

  1. So it’s interesting that nearly all data is reported in the global north, not the global south – places where data tends to exist for all kinds of global indicators already. The south lacks data for most things, and it looks like Russia has some kind of data blackout.

    As I’ve been talking to my doctor missionary friends in Kenya on the front lines of the epidemic, most people just aren’t getting tested or reporting where they’ve traveled. People can’t afford to change their patterns of behavior since they live so close to the economic margins. My parents have noted people in Nogales, MX are conducting business as usual without precautions because it’s a matter of whether people will survive day to day…so maybe global south countries just can’t afford to report real data?

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