Update: July 8, 2020
I stopped updating this Google Sheet some time ago, as other sources meaningfully improved their data representations. The two that have most impressed me are the New York Times (for all my reservations about the Times’ reporting, they have a truly outstanding data visualization team) and Standard Code‘s COVID Mapping Project (they were, I believe, among the very first to begin providing useful and accessible state-level data). For international trends, Our World in Data is my preferred source.
We have enormous room for improvement in the richness of data being reporting, and I think our individual and collective decision-making abilities are meaningfully impaired by a lack of consistency in how information is being recorded and reported. Who has been hospitalized with Covid as opposed to for Covid? Who has died from Covid as opposed to with Covid? How many cases are asymptomatic vs severe? Etc.
The deeper I got into my exploration of the available data, the more I began to feel like the drunk man searching for his keys under the street light.
I couldn’t find any trend information comparing nation-to-nation on Covid-19 cumulative deaths per capita, so last weekend, I built a simple spreadsheet with Coronavirus deaths based on data from Worldometers. A few days later, I added trend lines for Japan with data from Covid19Japan.
The charts show deaths in 10 nations, with each nation’s trend line beginning on the date of the first death attributed to the virus. I wanted to see trends about deaths, thinking that while they probably weren’t being attributed in a consistent way within countries or from country to country, they were a better indicator than cases, given the inconsistencies in testing protocols.
- Given the vastness of the US and China, I think it would be better to look at their data by state and province, but as of this writing, I don’t have that daily death data easily accessible.
- It’s pretty clear that nations (and probably regions) have different standards for attributing deaths to Covid-19, so that’s worth remembering as you compare nation to nation.
The easiest way to view the charts is on a desktop via the spreadsheet itself. If you’re on mobile, you’ll want the Google Sheets app. I’ve embedded some of the charts below. If you have recommendations or comments, please comment below or share them on this Twitter thread.
Deaths per Million of Population (log)
Cumulative Deaths (log)