How vulnerable is Latin America to a COVID-19 outbreak? Here’s what the data shows

The coronavirus is spreading deeper into Latin America, a region home to about 8.5 per cent of the world’s population that many expects believe could be among the worst affected by COVID-19.

Heavily reliant on commodity exports, tourism and remittances, Latin America’s fragile economies and vulnerable populations are likely to suffer. JPMorgan expects a 2020 GDP contraction exceeding 2 per cent across the region and over 3 per cent in Colombia, Brazil and Mexico.

Below, Reuters examines World Bank data that shine a light on just how vulnerable Latin America may be to the virus’ spread.


Although much remains unknown about COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, it appears older people are more vulnerable.

Latin America has a younger population compared to some other parts of the world. Less than 9 per cent of its population is aged 65 and above, compared with 20 per cent in the European Union and 16 per cent in North America. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 3 per cent of the population is aged 65 and over.

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