Data insight

Mapping the unvaccinated world

If landmass were equal to the number of unvaccinated people, this is what the world would look like

The unequal distribution of vaccines has produced glaring differences in the ability of countries to inoculate their populations. The visualization below shows a cartographic projection where land mass reflects the absolute number of unvaccinated people – unvaccinated in the sense that they haven’t received a single shot yet.

The chart confirms that most of the unvaccinated are in lower-middle-income and low-income countries (LMICs and LICs). A large share of the unvaccinated are located in Africa and India. 

One might argue that large countries are expected to be home to a larger number of unvaccinated people simply because they have larger populations. While that is of course true, the purpose here is to illustrate the absolute size of the vaccination challenge ahead of us.

When we summarize the absolute number of unvaccinated people by income group, we indeed see that most of them are in the LMICs and LICs. Notice that while a large share of the unvaccinated in these populations are young children, the vast majority of people currently eligible for vaccination (i.e. 12 or older) live in these poorer countries.  

The chart below cuts the data by World Bank region with regions sorted according to the total number of unvaccinated people. Note how the developing regions of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa stand out. East Asia and the Pacific contributes also many people to the global tally. 


Further detail is provided by cutting the data according to UN subregion. We have 22 UN subregions in total. Cut like this, the data show us that most of the unvaccinated are currently located in the subregion of Southern Asia. Closely followed by other regions in Asia and those of Africa.