- Number of hospital beds in Europe
- Number of doctors in Europe
- COVID-19 fatality rate by age
- How old are populations by region?
Hospital Beds per Person
Which countries are best prepared to serve their residents who need to be hospitalised for COVID-19? The country in Europe with the most hospital beds per person is Germany, with 8.00 beds per 1,000 residents. Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania round out the top 6, all with more than 6 beds per 1,000 people.
The six countries with the worst supply of hospital beds in Europe are Italy, Spain, Ireland, United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden—ranging from Italy with 3.18 beds to Sweden which has only 2.22 hospital beds per 1,000 residents.
|Rank||Country||Hospital Beds per 1,000 People|
Countries with the Biggest Hospital Bed Shortages in Europe
The chart below uses the "beds per resident" data to show which countries have the biggest shortfall of hospital beds in Europe. As you can see, Italy, Spain and the UK all have population bars (in green) far exceeding the hospital bed line. This difference represents a relative shortage of beds. While countries like Sweden, Denmark and Ireland also have poor bed-to-resident ratios, their smaller population sizes result in a smaller absolute bed shortage when compared to the UK, Italy and Spain.
Hospital Beds per 10,000 People Aged 70+
How well can each region care for its older population, in particular? Let's factored in the age of each population—since older residents are much more prone to requiring hospitalisation and death—and find the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people aged 70 or older in each country. According to this metric, Poland is best placed with hospital beds to care for the vulnerable older generation, with a relatively strong supply of beds for the older people who may need them most.
|Rank||Country||Population Aged 70+||Total Number of Hospital Beds||Hospital Beds per 1,000 People aged 70+|
Comparing the Number of Doctors Across Europe
The number of doctors available to treat patients is also critical. The country with the most doctors per person is Sweden, where there are 5.4 physicians per 1,000 people. By this metric, Poland is the least prepared in Europe with only 2.4 physicians per 1,000 people. The United Kingdom ranks third worst in this metric, with just 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people.
If we also include data on the number of nurses (and midwives) then Finland has the most health care professionals per person, with 18.5 physicians, nurses and midwives per 1,000 people. Latvia and Greece have the least, with just 8 per 1,000.
|Rank||Area||Physicians||Nurses and Midwives||Total|
|Central Europe and the Baltics||2.9||6.5||9.4|
How Old are Europe's Doctors?
While the UK has one of the lowest numbers of doctors per 1,000 people, their doctors are younger than in other European countries. Only 12.8% of the UK's doctors are 55 years of age or older. Compare this to Italy, where 53.3% of doctors are 55 or older. This might be a critical metric to consider in the fight against COVID-19, since older doctors will be more likely to fall seriously ill and ultimately be unable to work than younger doctors.
For this study, we analysed data on hospital beds, populations and COVID-19 fatality rates from the OECD, Eurostat and Worldometer.
First we took a look at the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people in each country. Countries with more hospital beds per resident are likely to have more fixed infrastructure for caring for COVID-19 patients. This data does not include temporary "hospitals" being erected in sports centres, tents, etc.
Then we factored in the age of each population, since older people are much more prone to requiring hospitalisation. To do so, we calculated the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people aged 70 or older in each country. Countries with a larger older population are likely to need more hospital beds.
We included countries in Europe for which we could source data. Here is the list:
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
Fatality Rates of COVID-19
While younger people can and do die of COVID-19, fatality rates are significantly higher for older people. According to the latest data available, the fatality for those age 70-79 is 8.0% and for age 80+ is 14.8%. Compare this to the fatality rate for under 40s of 0.2%. This means that over 80s are 74X more likely to die than those under age 40.
Age Statistics by Region
How many older people are there in each country, specifically those 70 years old or more? It's important to understand this, since older people face a higher risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. Ireland, Slovakia and Luxembourg have the smallest proportion of over 70s, under 10% of the population.
Germany, Greece and Italy have the largest proportion of over 70s. In Italy, for example, 16.68% of the population is aged 70+.
|Age Statistics by Country||Population||Population Aged 70+||% of Population Aged 70+|