Special issue on:

Demographic Aspects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Consequences

(Vol. 20)

Guest editors: Paola Di Giulio, Anne Goujon, Guillaume Marois and Joshua Goldstein

 

Managing editor: Maria Winkler-Dworak



Research Articles


Effects of income inequality on COVID-19 infections and deaths during the first wave of the pandemic: Evidence from European countries


Assessing the generational impact of COVID-19 using National Transfer Accounts (NTAs)


The mathematics of the reproduction number R for Covid-19: A primer for demographers


Human costs of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the major epicenters in Italy


Excess mortality and COVID-19 in Sweden in 2020: A demographic account


Are homicides and robberies associated with mortality due to COVID-19? Lessons from Urban Mexico


    Data & Trends


    Assessing excess mortality in Vienna and Austria after the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic


    COVID-19 in Hong Kong: Policies and community actions mitigate the effects of age structure and population density


    Details & Abstracts


    Research Articles


    Effects of income inequality on COVID-19 infections and deaths during the first wave of the pandemic: Evidence from European countries

    David A. Sánchez-Páez, Centre for Demographic Research (DEMO), Université Catholique de Louvain. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

    Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
    Volume: 20, 2022, pages (tbd - online-first)
    Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res1.1

    cite as:
    Sánchez-Páez, D. (2021). Effects of income inequality on COVID-19 infections and deaths during the first wave of the pandemic: Evidence from European countries. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 20. https://doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res1.1

    first online: 03.08.2021

    Abstract:

    Evidence from research on infectious diseases suggests that income inequality is related to higher rates of infection and death in disadvantaged population groups.
    Our objective is to examine whether there was an association between income inequality and the numbers of cases and deaths during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in European countries. We determined the duration of the first wave by first smoothing the number of daily cases, and then using a LOESS regression to fit the smoothed trend. Next, we estimated quasi-Poisson regressions. Results from the bivariate models suggest there was a moderate positive association between the Gini index values and the cumulated number of infections and deaths during the first wave, although the statistical significance of this association disappeared
    when controls were included. Results from multivariate models suggest that higher numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19 were associated with countries having more essential workers, larger elderly populations and lower health carecapacities.

    Keywords: COVID-19; income inequality; first wave; European countries

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    Assessing the generational impact of COVID-19 using National Transfer Accounts (NTAs)

    Miguel Sánchez-Romero Vienna Institute of Demography (OeAW), Wittgenstein Centre of Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria

    Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
    Volume: 20, 2022, pages (tbd - online-first)
    Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res1.2

    cite as:
    Sánchez-Romero, M. (2022). Assessing the generational impact of COVID-19 using National Transfer Accounts (NTAs). Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 20. https://doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res1.2

    first online: 25.01.2022

    Abstract:

    An important aspect of the current COVID-19 crisis is that not all age groups are equally affected by the pandemic. To account for the generational impact of COVID-19, a dynamic overlapping generations model with realistic demography, human capital and NTAs is constructed. The COVID-19 crisis is modelled through two unexpected and temporary negative shocks: an economic shock that reduces labour income, and a demographic shock that increases the mortality hazard rates of those infected. The model is applied to 12 countries for which full NTA data are available. Results are presented for two extreme fiscal policies: one in which governments compensate workers for 0% (without fiscal support) of their total labour income losses due to the pandemic, and another in which governments compensate workers for 100% (with fiscal support) of these losses. In addition, I analyse the impact of these policies on public debt. The results show that COVID-19 is affecting the
    financial situations of people aged 25 to 64 and their children more than those of older people. By compensating workers for their income losses, the economic impact of COVID-19 has been more evenly distributed across cohorts, reducing the burden on people aged zero to 64, and increasing the burden on people aged 65 and older. Moreover, the simulation results show that a 1% decline in labour income leads to an average increase in the debt-to-total labour income ratio of between 1.2% (without fiscal policy) and 1.6% (with fiscal policy).


    Keywords: COVID-19; National Transfer Accounts; overlapping generations; lifecycle model, generational accounts; debt

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    Supplementary files:  supplementary material | Summary of NTA country profiles


    The mathematics of the reproduction number R for Covid-19: A primer for demographers

    Luis Rosero-Bixby (corresponding author), University of Costa Rica, San Pedro, SJ, Costa Rica
    Tim Miller, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nation

    Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
    Volume: 20, 2022, pages (tbd - online-first)
    Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res1.3

    cite as:
    Rosero-Bixby,L. and Miller, T. (2021).Demographic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 20. https://doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res1.3

    first online: 15.12.2021

    Abstract:
    The reproduction number R is a key indicator used to monitor the dynamics of Covid-19 and to assess the effects of infection control strategies that frequently have high social and economic costs. Despite having an analog in demography’s “net reproduction rate” that has been routinely computed for a century, demographers may not be familiar with the concept and measurement of R in the context of Covid-19. This article is intended to be a primer for understanding and estimating R in demography. We show that R can be estimated as a ratio between the numbers of new cases today divided by the weighted average of cases in previous days. We present two alternative derivations for these weights based on how risks have changed over time: constant vs. exponential decay. We then provide estimates of these weights, and demonstrate their use in calculating R to trace the course of the first pandemic year in 53 countries.

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    Supplementary Files:  Data Set (Excel)  |   Data Set (DTA)


    Human costs of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the major epicenters in Italy

    Simone Ghislandi, Department of Social and Political Sciences, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
    Raya Muttarak, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Schlossplatz, Laxenburg, Austria
    Markus Sauerberg, Vienna Institute of Demography (OeAW), Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria
    Benedetta Scotti, Department of Social and Political Sciences, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy

    Authors are listed in alphabetical order

    Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
    Volume: 20, 2022, pages (tbd - online-first)
    Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res2.1

    cite as:
    Ghislandi, S., Muttarak, R., Sauerberg, M, and Scotti, B. (2021). Human costs of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the major epicenters in Italy. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 20. https://doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res2.1

    first online: 21.07.2021

    Abstract:
    Deaths from COVID-19 can be miscounted due to under-reporting and inaccurate death registration. Mortality is often reported at the national level, which can result in the underestimation of the true scale of the impact of the pandemic since outbreaks tend to be localised. This study exploits all-cause daily death registration data provided by the Italian Statistical Office (ISTAT) from 1 January to 31 October to estimate the excess mortality and the corresponding changes in life expectancy during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Focusing on the five most severely hit provinces in Italy (Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza), we calculate the excess mortality in 2020 compared to the average mortality of the years 2015 to 2019. Moreover, we estimate the excess mortality in the first quadrimester of 2020, and the annual life expectancy at birth. The estimated excess deaths show that during this period, mortality was significantly higher than the official mortality statistics for COVID-19. According to our estimates for the first quadrimester, life expectancy in the five provinces declined by 5.4 to 8.1 for men and by 4.1 to 5.8 years for women. In addition, we find that annual life expectancy decreased by 2.4 to 4.1 years for men and by 1.9 to 2.8 years for women compared to the 2015–2019 average. Thus, we conclude that the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on population health in the hardest hit areas in Italy.

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    Excess mortality and COVID-19 in Sweden in 2020: A demographic account

    Martin Kolk , Demography Unit, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, Institute for Future Studies, Stockholm, Sweden, Åbo Akademi, Vasa, Finland
    Sven Drefahl , Demography Unit, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    Matthew Wallace, Demography Unit, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
    Gunnar Andersson, Demography Unit, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

    Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
    Volume: 20, 2022, pages (tbd - online-first)
    Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res2.2

    cite as:
    Kolk, M., Drefahl, S., Wallace, M. and Andersson, G. (2021). Excess mortality and COVID-19 in Sweden in 2020: A demographic account. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 20. https://doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res2.2

    first online: 27.01.2022

    Abstract:
    In this study, we provide an account of mortality levels in Sweden in 2020, focusing on both excess mortality and mortality due to COVID-19 deaths. We present various measures of life expectancy for women and men based on age-specific death rates in 2020. Our measures of excess mortality are based on comparisons with benchmarks derived from a previous mortality forecast for 2020 by Statistics Sweden and observed average mortality rates during 2017–2019. We present data on regional and seasonal variation in excess mortality, as well as estimates of Years of Potential Life Lost due to COVID-19. We decompose excess mortality in 2020 into excess mortality due to COVID-19 and excess mortality attributable to other causes. We also provide some estimates on the impact of excess mortality in 2020 on the remaining life expectancy for different cohorts of women and men in Sweden. We demonstrate that the impact of COVID-19 mortality was concentrated at higher ages, and among men in particular. Conversely, some younger age groups experienced negative excess mortality. The mortality changes during 2020 caused life expectancy levels to revert back to those observed in 2018 for women and in 2017 for men.

    Keywords: excess mortality; mortality; life expectancy; COVID-19; Sweden

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    Supplementary file: Mortality by sex, age and country 2017-2020


    Are homicides and robberies associated with mortality due to COVID-19? Lessons from Urban Mexico

    Claudia Masferrer, Centro de Estudios Demográficos, Urbanos y Ambientales, El Colegio de México, Mexico City, Mexico
    Oscar Rodríguez Chávez, Departamento de Estudios de Población, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico

    Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
    Volume: 20, 2022, pages (tbd - online-first)
    Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res2.4

    cite as:
    Masferrer, C. and Rodríguez Chávez, O. (2022). Are homicides and robberies associated with mortality due to COVID-19? Lessons from Urban Mexico. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 20. https://doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res2.4

    first online: 26.01.2022

    Abstract:
    Studies on the symbiosis of crime and COVID-19 have analyzed governmentmandated lockdown effects. However, it is unknown to what extent previous crime rates determined a larger and more mortal spread of the pandemic. We study how homicides and robberies in the pre-pandemic year of 2019 are associated with 2020 mortality rates due to COVID-19 in urban municipalities in Mexico. Considering sex differentials in health, exposure to the virus and experiences of violence, we study whether gender differences in mortality exist in 2020. Using publicly available data on deaths due to COVID-19 provided by the Mexican Secretariat of Health, along with a series of indicators to characterize local pre-pandemic conditions of urban municipalities, we estimate a series of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models on age-standardized crude death rates (ASCDR) by sex. Findings show that homicides—a proxy for criminal violence that might encourage people to stay home—show significant negative associations with mortality rates. Comparatively, robberies—a proxy of local violence and safety—were positively associated with mortality rates for both sexes. Sex differences in the determinants of ASCDR are discussed.


    Keywords: COVID-19; criminal violence; social determinants of mortality; gender differences in mortality; urban areas; Mexico

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    Data & Trends


    Assessing excess mortality in Vienna and Austria after the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Ramon Bauer, Statistics Vienna at the City of Vienna’s Department for Economic Affairs, Labour and Statistics (MA 23), Vienna, Austria,
    Markus Speringer (corresponding author), Statistics Vienna at the City of Vienna’s Department for Economic Affairs, Labour and Statistics (MA 23), Vienna, Austria,
    Peter Frühwirt, Basic Research Section at the City of Vienna’s Department for Economic Affairs, Labour and Statistics (MA 23), Vienna, Austria
    ,
    Roman Seidl, Basic Research Section at the City of Vienna’s Department for Economic Affairs, Labour and Statistics (MA 23), Vienna, Austria,
    Franz Trautinger, Statistics Vienna at the City of Vienna’s Department for Economic Affairs, Labour and Statistics (MA 23), Vienna, Austria

    Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
    Volume: 20, 2022, pages (tbd - online-first)
    Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2022.dat.1

    cite as:

    Bauer, R., Speringer, M., Frühwirt, P., Seidl, R. and Trautinger, F. (2022) Assessing excess mortality in Vienna and Austria after the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 20. https://doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2022.dat.1

    first online: 17.01.2022

    Abstract:

    In Austria, the first confirmed COVID-19 death occurred in early March 2020. Since then, the question as to whether and, if so, to what extent the COVID-19 pandemic has increased overall mortality has been raised in the public and academic discourse. In an effort to answer this question, Statistics Vienna (City of Vienna, Department for Economic Affairs, Labour and Statistics) has evaluated the weekly mortality trends in Vienna, and compared them to the trends in other Austrian provinces. For our analysis, we draw on data from Statistics Austria and the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), which are published along with data on the actual and the expected weekly numbers of deaths via the Vienna Mortality Monitoring website. Based on the definition of excess mortality as the actual number of reported deaths from all causes minus the expected number of deaths, we calculate the weekly prediction intervals of the expected number of deaths for two age groups (0 to 64 years and 65 years and older). The temporal scope of the analysis covers not only the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also previous flu seasons and summer heat waves. The results show the actual weekly numbers of deaths and the corresponding prediction intervals for Vienna and the other Austrian provinces since 2007. Our analysis underlines the importance of comparing time series of COVID-19-related excess deaths at the sub-national level in order to highlight within-country heterogeneities.


    Keywords: mortality; excess mortality; COVID-19; regional analysis; Austria

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    COVID-19 in Hong Kong: Policies and community actions mitigate the effects of age structure and population density

    Zilin Li, Division of Public Policy, Center for Aging Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China
    Stuart A. Gietel-Basten (corresponding author) Division of Public Policy, Division of Social Science, Center for Aging Science The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China
    Rachel Ganly, Division of Social Science, Center for Aging Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay,
    Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China
    Christian Joy Pattawi Cruz, Division of Public Policy, Center for Aging Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay,
    Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China, Population Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

    All authors contributed equally.

    Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
    Volume: 20, 2022, pages (tbd - online-first)
    Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2022.dat.2

    cite as:

    Li, Z., Gietel-Basten, S. A. , Ganly, R.  and Cruz, C. J. P. (2022) COVID-19 in Hong Kong: Policies and community actions mitigate the effects of age structure and population density. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 20. https://doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2022.dat.2

    first online: 18.01.2022

    Abstract:
    Despite the various socio-demographic vulnerabilities of Hong Kong to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has successfully managed four waves of local outbreaks, as shown by its comparatively low numbers of confirmed cases and deaths. In this paper, we identify and differentiate the unique  characteristics of Hong Kong’s COVID-19 outbreaks from those of other territories, and analyse the factors that shaped these characteristics. In particular, we examine four local demographic factors – older age structure, high population density, poor housing conditions and a large migrant population – which, according to current scientific evidence, would likely indicate that the city faces a relatively high risk of the significant spread of
    COVID-19. We analyse and explain how multiple policies related to border controls, social distancing, testing and tracing, partial lockdowns and housing management, as well as sustained community actions, helped to mitigate the effects of these significant disadvantages.

    Keywords: COVID-19; age structure; population density; policy responses; community action; Hong Kong

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