This chart shows the evolution over time of the cumulative COVID-19 case rate across World Bank income groups. The cumulative case rate expresses COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic relative to the size of the population.
The absolute expression of cases is useful to highlight the the contribution of countries or groups of countries to the global total. In contrast, case rates, which express the absolute number of cases relative to population size, provide an indication of performance controlling for population size.
It should be noted that the different income groups shown here are of very different population size dimensions. The global population as per the 2021 medium-variant projection of World Population Prospects is 7,866 million people, which is distributed as follows:
Low-income countries (LICs): 702 million
In light of these differences in population size, absolute case numbers will be quite different given the differences in rates.
Finally, it should be noted that limitations to testing will mean that the number of confirmed cases is lower than the true number of infections.
Pandem-ic uses the World Bank income classification as a major building block in the analysis of the impact of the pandemic.
The income classification groups countries in four buckets by per capita income levels: high-income countries (HICs), upper-middle-income countries (UMICs), lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) and low-income countries (LICs). We use the current FY2023 classification, which determines the thresholds of the buckets as follows:
A good part of this site also analyzes the pandemic by region (where we use the World Bank regional classification and the UN geo-scheme of subregions). In both cases (i.e. across income groups and regions), the universe of countries is based on the World Bank income classification. More on that in the next note.
The universe of countries on this website is determined as follows.
Note that the vaccination data is pulled from Our World in Data, which utilizes a slightly different universe of locations. In sticking with the above 196 countries and economies, we have made the following adjustments relative to the OWID universe.
For each of the above adjustments to the vaccination data, we make adjustments to the demographic data that vaccine information is related to (including population size, age structure and priority group size).
Finally, note that no adjustments are required to the totals for France as its overseas territories and dependencies are already included.