Notes on the data

The COVID-19 Sex-Disaggregated Data Tracker assesses the availability of sex-disaggregated data from over 170 countries (and counting). Data is updated every two weeks and we continue to expand the number of countries and indicators included. The Tracker collects sex-disaggregated data on testing, confirmed cases (including among healthcare workers), hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths. The full data collection protocol can be found here


Key points on the data

  • Data are collected from official government sources in each country. Sources are provided for each country for each update. These sources may change between updates as countries alter how they publish their sex-disaggregated data.
  • Wherever possible, dates reflect the date given by countries for data. In some cases where dashboards do not indicate the date of the data, the date the source was checked is used. 
  • The total number of cases and deaths reported may differ from the most recent numbers in a given country for two primary reasons: 1) Data is taken from the last date that sex-disaggregated data was available, which in some cases is not reported as regularly as total cases/deaths, and 2) these figures reflect the total number of cases / deaths where sex-disaggregated data is available. Some countries only report sex-disaggregated data on a portion of total cases/deaths. 
  • While increases in numbers of cases and deaths in men and women reported by countries capture the actual expansion of the epidemic, increases may also reflect shifts in the proportion of total cases or deaths for which a country reports sex-disaggregated data.
  • This data is intended to be used to understand the breakdown of cases and deaths by sex, not to monitor overall numbers of cases or deaths per country.
  • Definitions of cases and deaths recorded due to COVID-19 may vary by country. Countries change protocols and definitions of indicators over time and this may account for inconsistencies across historical comparisons. When possible, changes of this nature are noted. In all cases, sources are provided for reference and verification of data definitions and policies in place. 
  • When countries revise data, we seek to revise our historical data when possible. Often, historical sex disaggregations are not revised by the country and we are not able to correct our data. In these instances, we keep the historical data as published. These cases are noted in the release notes when a revision occurs.
  • While we may report case and death data for a given country, our Tracker calculates and presents the proportion of confirmed cases that have died only when this data is reported by the country at the same time point.
  • For all visualisations and summary statistics, the website uses numbers as provided by the country by age and sex. When countries do not provide numbers of men and women for an indicator but provide proportions, the numbers used have been calculated from the proportions given.

Release notes

As of the 21st September, release notes for each update will be available to view here

What is a confirmed case?

This tracker collects data on confirmed cases of COVID-19. A confirmed case of COVID-19, as defined by the World Health Organization, is based on laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms. However, international bodies can only report data as it is submitted by national governments and reporting institutions. Countries can define slightly different criteria for how cases are defined and reported.

It should also be noted that the case reporting chain, from doctor or laboratory to health department to national authority, can take several days. Thus the number of confirmed cases reported by any institution on a given day does not necessarily represent the actual number of new cases on that date. Case and contact definitions are based on the current available information and are regularly revised as new information accumulates.

Further information on case definitions, including suspect and probable cases, can be found via the WHO


Are all deaths from COVID-19 reported in this tracker? 

This tracker uses data as reported by national governments. It contains data on the breakdown of reported deaths among individuals with a confirmed COVID-19 infection. In many countries, only deaths in certain settings (e.g. hospitals) are being reported, and not everyone dying of COVID-19 will have been diagnosed with the virus.  This means that it is highly probable that current data does not provide a full picture of the total number of cases of COVID-19 or deaths resulting from an infection.


What is a case fatality rate? 

A case fatality rate (CFR) presents the number of deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 (people who have been tested and confirmed as having a COVID-19 infection).

An infection fatality rate (IFR) represents the number of deaths divided by the actual number of cases of COVID-19.

The total number of COVID-19 cases is not known. There are likely to be a significantly larger number of cases of COVID-19 than are being diagnosed through laboratory testing, given the lack of widespread testing in many countries, which makes any calculations of the IFR quite unreliable.

This tracker reports on the proportion of reported deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases within a country.


Why do men appear to be dying at higher rates from COVID-19?

For information on the gendered differences we are seeing in COVID-19, please refer to Men, Sex, Gender and COVID-19 page.