People with low incomes three times more likely to die from coronavirus
New figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and Amsterdam UMC have revealed that the poorest members of the Netherlands’ population are significantly more likely to die from coronavirus than the richest population groups.
Poorest members of Dutch population are more vulnerable
CBS carried out an extensive investigation into the deaths that occurred during the first coronavirus wave, between March and June 2020. During these months, over 10.000 people are reported to have died from coronavirus in the Netherlands.
The research found that members of the population with a lower income were significantly more likely to die than those with the highest incomes. CBS concluded that individuals belonging to the lowest income group, aged between zero and 70 with no pre-existing health conditions, are three times more likely to die of COVID-19 than the highest income group. Those over the age of 70 are twice as likely to succumb to the virus than wealthier members of the same age group.
CBS said more research on second and third waves is needed
Researchers partially attribute this to the fact that low-income individuals are more likely to work in jobs where they are unable to work from home, and that they are more likely to have larger families living in smaller apartments or houses. Anton Kunst, a professor of social epidemiology at Amsterdam UMC, says the research proves the virus doesn’t affect everyone equally: “The idea that the virus happens to all of us as a kind of disaster is incorrect. Now that we take stock a year later, we see that the disease mainly affects people who are poor.”
CBS does note that the period of time investigated is relatively short, and so more research would be needed in order to draw a decisive conclusion. The governmental institution has announced it will conduct extensive research into the second wave of the virus to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the spread of the virus.