Demographic impact of Covid-19

October 02, 2022

The World Population Data Sheet this year has a special focus on the consequences of Covid-19

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he world experienced nearly 7.5 million annual additional deaths associated with Covid-19 pandemic on average in 2020 and 2021, meaning they weren’t expected to happen if not for the pandemic. Some of the deaths occurred indirectly because of the pandemic, e.g. through delays or lack of treatments and care.

The Covid-19 pandemic has by now had an unmistakable impact on each of the core demographic processes i.e., mortality, fertility, population dynamics and migration in all parts of the world. It has also affected the collection of demographic data. Global disease processes, local social structures and political responses at the level of public health institutions are important factors in checking the problems related to this disease and its consequences on population trends. The tragedy has dramatically changed the way we live and work in the short-term, and move from one place to another, both locally and globally.

The 2022 World Population Data Sheet, published annually by the Population Research Bureau (PRB), a Washington-based international organisation working to promote and support evidence-based policies, practices and decision-making to improve the health and well-being of people throughout the world, provides the latest data on key population, health, and environment indicators for major world regions and over 200 countries and territories. This year’s data sheet has a special focus on the demographic impact of Covid-19, examining indicators such as the number of excess deaths due to the pandemic and population-wide vaccination rates.

According to PRB researchers, the Covid-19 crisis caused 14.9 million excess deaths worldwide in 2020 and 2021, accounting for 12 percent of all global deaths. The data sheet provides comprehensive data on global population trends, including birth and death rates, total fertility rates, life expectancy at birth, family planning, HIV/ AIDS statistics, and more. Overall, the data sheet delivers an overview of the demographic trends that shape our world of 7.96 billion people.

The infant and maternal mortality is perhaps the most obvious demographic consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and has witnessed an increase, both from the disease caused by the SARS-COV2 virus and from the secondary effects of the virus on health systems and economies.

The migration consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic will also need to be evaluated in both the short- and long-term. When it became clear that the SARS-COV2 virus was going to cause a pandemic, countries around the world tried to restrict travel and close borders. As a result, many international sojourners returned to their countries of origin, while others decided to remain abroad for the duration. An unexpected consequence was that as workers abroad were prevented from returning home due to travel restrictions, migrant smuggling developed into an additional business of smuggling people back home. As universities scrambled to shift classes online, many also closed their dormitories, sending students home to various parts of the world.

Not only are people with different demographic and socioeconomic characteristics differentially susceptible to Covid-19 disease, the ability to cope, response, recovery and adaptation to the pandemic and its social and economic consequences also varies across population subgroups as well as institutional and geographical contexts.

The pandemic caught most of the world unprepared. Since the official report from China about the outbreak of the new coronavirus in January 2020, there remain many uncertainties about the new virus, ranging from the clinical-epidemiological aspects, policy measures to social, demographic and economic consequences. One thing that appears to be certain is the differential vulnerability to the pandemic that changes with the size and shape of populations moving frequently from one place to another.

It is obvious that older populations and people with pre-existing medical conditions have a higher risk of morbidity and mortality from Covid-19. Recent evidence shows that men, members of minority ethnic groups and people living in economically-deprived areas are more likely to become seriously ill and die from Covid-19 infections. Their movement to safe places and obtaining treatment was limited. Not only are people with different demographic and socioeconomic characteristics differentially susceptible to Covid-19 disease, the ability to cope, response, recovery and adaptation to the pandemic and its social and economic consequences also vary across population subgroups as well as institutional and geographical contexts.

The pandemic has affected about 210 countries, including Pakistan. There have been more than 67 million confirmed cases and over 1.5 million deaths across the globe. Considering the population density, healthcare capacity, existing poverty and environmental factors, Pakistan which witnessed with more than 30,000 mortalities was also under travel restrictions.

The lockdown due to Covid-19 had a massive effect on working population and the quality of life in Pakistan suffered a lot. Social life was badly affected.

Pakistan’s population is relatively young with around 65 percent below the age of 30. This part of the population is most active and frequently the earning agent of the family. These people feel the need most intensely to move within the city and out of city; even to go abroad.

Studies have confirmed that the outbreak of Covid-19 is associated with various psychological problems that may continue after the outbreak is over. It is, therefore, important to estimate the burden of psychological problems and identify the high-risk groups in the population.

One of the demographic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been an economic, social and demographic deglobalisation that has promoted protectionist policies and local as well as international migration sanctions. It has caused a decline in global trade and financial and human capital flows. It has also resulted in a disintegration of the global economy and labour supply.


The writer is a playwright and freelance journalist. He can be reached at pashajaved1gmail.com and his blogging site: soulandland.com



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