Countries with low urbanization rates are more likely to be poorly vaccinated. The visualization above shows for all countries currently reporting vaccination data the relationship between the urban population share and the share of the total population that is fully vaccinated. The chart controls for population size (the area of the bubbles) and groups countries by World Bank income classification (color).
A strong relation seems to be apparent between urbanization and vaccination (confidence interval shown at 95%). We know that urbanization is a reflection of development. As countries become more prosperous and move up the country income ladder, they tend to transform structurally. One of these structural transformations is for the urban population share to rise. We can see this pattern clearly, with urbanization rates generally rising as the color code in the chart shifts from low to high income.
But there is more to this. Low vaccination rates are not only associated with low levels of urbanization simply because countries are poorer. One would also expect that having share of the population living in rural areas complicates vaccination progress, keeping all else equal.
Looking more deeply into the relation between urbanization and vaccination, let’s examine next what happens once we control for total population size. That’s what the next chart is about.