7. Adressing the disparities according to age and to sex

Given the vulnerability of older people to this virus, the age structure of populations in different countries plays a determining role in the number of deaths. Differences in the coverage of death reporting by sex and age must be taken into account in the analyses. Similar trends at day 28 of the epidemic can be found in France, Germany, Spain and Italy, although some specificities are highlighted:

  • On day 28, deaths by covid-19 are concentrated in the older age groups: 87% concern people aged 70 or over in Spain, 86% in Germany and Italy, and 84% in France. In France, when available, the complementary figures for deaths in institutions for the elderly should accentuate this age effect. Mortality before the age of 60 years by COVID-19 represents 5% of cumulative deaths on the 28th day in France, Spain, Germany and 4% in Italy. There are more marked variations in age detail: deaths over 90 years of age account for 19% of total deaths in Spain and France, only 13% in Germany and 9% in Italy. In these countries, people aged 90 and over counts for 4.5%, 4.8%, 4.4% and 3.4% of the population respectively. At D46, the share of the deaths over age 90 in Germany increased up to 18%. Age pyramids of COVID-19 deaths shows the variation in the age distribution accros sexes (Figure 7.1).
  • In all countries, there are more men than women among deaths related to COVID-19, but the extent of the male disadvantage differs from country to country (Table 7.1). At day 28, it is 1.5 in French hospital deaths, 1.7 in Spanish and German deaths. Deaths by COVID-19 in Italy have a higher sex ratio: 2.4. By Day 46, the sex ratios in the different age groups in France and Spain (hospital deaths) had moved closer together. The male disadvantage remains more marked in Italy and in Germany, where it increased below the age of 70. The higher proportion of deaths in the 90+ age group in Germany is accompanied by a decrease in male disadvantage (increase in the publication of female deaths).
  Figure 7.1 Age pyramids of cumulative deaths published at D28 and J45/46 in Germany, Spain (partial deaths), France (hospital deaths) and Italy


Data and metadata.
See the figure

Table 7.1. Numbers, percentages and sex ratio (male/female) of deaths by VIDC-19 published by sex and age in 4 countries
With data from "The Demographics of COVID-19 Deaths (2020). (INED): https://dc-covid.site.ined.fr/en/ »