Covid-19, how is contagion going in Europe? The regional map


The worst affected is La Rioja, in northern Spain, with 128.33 cases per 10,000 inhabitants. While in Italy it is not Lombardy, but the Aosta Valley. Infodata collected the contagion data on a regional basis, thus building this map of the incidence of positives to the new coronavirus for every 10,000 inhabitants.

Given the delicacy of the theme, it is good to specify that the map does not represent absolute cases, but precisely normalizes the data based on the population: the darker the territory, the greater the’Incidence of infections every 10 thousand inhabitantsthe. Furthermore, the figure is very affected by the infill strategies implemented by central and national governments. The more swabs have been carried out, the closer you get to a realistic figure of the size of the pandemic.

To build the database used in drawing the map, Infodata has redone where possible the official sources. It happened, for example, with the Germany, the Spain, therenghilterra and the Belgium. As for Switzerland, a civic hacker relies on the work of the contagion data in the various cantons in a single portal. In other cases, Wikipedia pages have been used that report the data published by official sources, a solution that has allowed to circumvent linguistic obstacles. Basically, the fact remains that no such database was compiled, for example at the level of the European institutions.

A database that is spoiled by a series of problems. The data francesi, although from official sources, they refer exclusively to 78 thousand positives, against a total of 144 thousand. And they don’t contain information about Corsica. As for the United Kingdom, Infodata was unable to collect data for Wales and Scotland, while the London figure concerns Inner and Outer London, or the old Nuts nomenclatures, which today divide the territory of the English capital into five areas.

National figures have been reported for Iceland, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia and Latvia. This is because Infodata’s choice was to represent the data on a regional basis (Nuts 2 for map nerds). And at this level, for these countries, we do not go beyond the national detail. But the most populous state, Latvia, has roughly the same inhabitants of Calabria. This approximation therefore does not affect the meaning of the map too much.

Last clarification, for Prague and Warsaw the data on the infections is related not only to the capitals, but also to the regions that surround them, respectively Strední Cechy and Mazowiecki regionalny. The incidence was therefore calculated by referring to the total inhabitants of these territories, which obviously have an identical color on the map.

Then there is a problem of updating the data. In general they all refer to the last few days, but there are cases, such as that of Finland, where the most recent data chand Infodata has recovered date back to May 8. In Norway they even stop at 6. In any case, by clicking on a territory a window appears which, in addition to indicating the name of the selected region and the incidence of the infections, also reports the date to which the information refers.

All this being said, there are two darker areas, or areas in which the infection had a greater incidence. The first, which is unfortunately not surprising, concerns the Northern Italy, to which is added the Canton Ticino (Switzerland) which with 93 cases for every 10,000 residents is the fourth most affected European region. The second concerns Spain: said of the Rioja, it should be added that with 99.83 positives for every 10,000 residents, the Comunidad de Madrid is the second European region for the incidence of contagion.

Darker shades are also noticeable in Belgium and Sweden, between Bavaria and Austria, in Ireland and Iceland. For the rest, in Eastern Europe, the infection seems to have spread with less intensity. Once again: the number of positives depends on the extension of the infill campaigns. Infodata did not find data that allowed to understand if the data of the incidence so low in these areas reflects a actually lower number of infections or depends on the fact that the positives were sought less.

Returning to Italy, the most affected region is the Aosta Valley, with 93.42 positives for every 10,000 inhabitants, followed by Lombardy, with 84.51. The absolute numbers are obviously not comparable: around 1,200 in the first case, over 85,000 in the second. The choice to calculate the incidence, however, allows you to compare very different realities. A comparison, in fact, not a race to decide who has suffered the most. In short, an attempt to tell in more detail how the Covid-19 epidemic went in Europe.

Thanks to Marco Alciator, researcher and statistician, for his collaboration in data research.

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