This chart shows the evolution over time of the cumulative COVID-19 case rate across World Bank regions. 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 regional 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:
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): 1,166 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.