COVID-19: Demographic Analysis

Kamal Das

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest outbreak for our generation. As of 6th April 2020, over 1.3 million peoples have been infected and almost 75,000 died due to COVID-19. The US has become the epicenter with over 25% of the total confirmed infected cases. (Click here for source link)

On the evening of 6th April, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of India shared demographic details of the infections of COVID-19 and deaths due to the disease in India. We use this to analyse some demographic trends in India. The analysis below uses data from the press release, India’s census data and Johns Hopkins for global data (Click on for the source link).

As per Johns Hopkins, 184 nationalities have COVID-19 cases as on 6th April 2020. With 4,778 infected people, India has the ranks 27 in terms of number of confirmed cases. The lock down and proactive action seem to have limited the growth of infections in India.


India’s death count due to COVID-19 has crossed 100. Mortality rate calculated as the number of deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases is around 2.8% for India around half of the global mortality rate of 5.5% for COVID-19.After the most recent press release from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, we are able to analyse some data in terms of gender and age groups for India.In India, 76% of the 4,067 infections were for males, and 24% were for females. Given that males are more mobile and represent a larger working population, we expected a larger male population. However, as male are 51.5% of India’s population, the fact that they are 76% seems high.

As per census data, 5 in every million Indian males has been infected by COVID-19 but only 1.7 in every million Indian females. Indian females take more precautions, are tested less or are less immune to COVID-19?

In case of mortality rate, Indian men are better off. Mortality rate is 2.6% of Indian men and 3.0% for Indian women vs national average of 2.7%. Take care ladies!

In terms of age, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has grouped Indian’s to below 40 years, between 40-60 years and above 60 years.Everyone can get infected. 47% of the infections are for Indians below the age of 40 years. Alarmingly, while only 19% of the Indians over 60 years of age, get infected they account for 63% of the deaths! The mortality rate of  those above 60 years is 8.9% vs 2.4% for those between 40-60 years and 0.4% for those below 40 years.In other words, 1 in 250 people infected below the age of 40 years in India die because of COVID-19. This increases to 1 in 42 infections for Indians between the age of 40-60 years, and jumps to 1 in 11 for Indians above the age of 60 years.

This appears to be in line with global trends as Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited, has highlighted.


India is a young country, with the median age of  28 years. As a result, the fact that less than 50% of the infections have happened for those below 40 years indicates another disturbing fact. 

We used 2011 census data and found the number of infections by age group in India. We discover that while 2.2 people per million Indians in the age group below 40 years get infected by COVID-19, the rate increases to 6.4 people per million Indians in the age group between  40 to 60 years, and 7.4 people per million Indians above the age group 60 years. Not only are the elderly more likely to die because of COVID-19, they are more likely to get infected by COVID-19.Those above 60 years need to be especially careful. They have a higher probability of getting infected and higher mortality rates. The need to stay home, practice social distancing and take precautionary measures are paramount.  Even the younger population needs to take care to avoid parents, and elderly relatives from being infected.

Stay home, stay safe!

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