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COVID Deaths and Cases

From 28 February to 22 May 2020

CSO statistical release, , 11am

COVID-19 Insight Bulletins: Deaths and Cases, Series 2

Information on the people who have died from COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with the virus.

This is the second publication in our new series of information bulletins produced by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) that aims to provide insights on those who have either died or contracted COVID-19, by using data from the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) provided to the CSO by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

The CSO’s analysis of the confirmed deaths and cases has found that the incidence of COVID-19 is decreasing in all areas. Deaths have reduced from 270 at the peak to 37 in the most recent week, while cases have reduced from 6,049 to 624. While the trend in cases is down everywhere since the peak week of 17 April 2020, spikes can be seen in weekly figures for counties Offaly, Westmeath, Longford, Cork, Tipperary, Clare and Limerick since that date.


Tracking the virus from cities to large towns

By looking at the characteristics of the Electoral Division where the confirmed cases live, the CSO can derive additional Socio-Economic information about the affected people and the areas they live in. Using the six-way urban/rural classification developed for the CSO publication Urban and Rural Life in Ireland, 2019, the CSO can look at how the virus spread through our communities.

Table 4 shows that people living in our cities were worst affected. More than 50% of all cases were in our cities, but this has been decreasing over the last number of weeks and those living in cities now represent 44% of cases.

As the numbers of cases has decreased in our cites, it has increased in Independent urban towns, that is towns without a large ‘city’ influence. People living in these types of urban towns now account for 12% of cases up from 5% in the week ending 20 March.

Looking in more detail at the counties affected, Table 2 shows that 52% of deaths have been in Dublin but there are a significant number of counties where there have been less than 10 deaths since this crisis started. The number of deaths in Dublin from COVID-19 hit its peak in the week ending 10 April, while most other counties recorded their highest numbers of deaths from the virus the following week ending, 17 April.

Table 3 shows that most of the country had its peak number of cases in the week ending 17 April, but Cavan and Monaghan hit their peak number of cases of the virus a week later (the week ending 24 April). Roscommon has only seen a significant decrease in cases in the latest week (ending 22 May), reflecting the move out of the cities and into independent urban towns. 

Week EndingCitiesSatellite urban townsIndependent urban townsRural areas with high urban influenceHighly rural / remote areasUnknown

Standardised Death Rate highest in least deprived areas

The Standardised Death Rate (SDR), is the death rate of a population adjusted to a standard age distribution. Variations in the age distribution of the population from one area to another has an effect on the comparability of death rates between different areas. The standardised death rate is a synthetic measure that allows for comparison of death rates. While crude death rates are not directly comparable, the standardised death rate is comparable.

Table 5 shows SDR of persons in the least deprived area was calculated at 35 per 100,000 persons while the SDR for all persons was 29 per 100,000.  Furthermore, except for the second most deprived area (quintile 4), males had a higher SDR than females. In the least deprived area the SDR for males is as high as 36 per 100,000 persons.

Similarly, with the Standardised Confirmed Incidence Rate (SCIR), the rate of incidence of COVID-19 in a population adjusted to a standard age distribution, of persons in the least deprived area (quintile 1) was 606 per 100,000 population while it was 462 per 100,000 population in quintile 5 (most deprived area) and 532 per 100,000 population in all areas. Unlike the SDR, females had a higher SCIR than males across all quintiles.

This is also reflected in the Electoral Division profiles of confirmed cases in Table 4, where the CSO has found that 25% of cases are in areas of lower income, where the household median income is less than €40,000, despite 30% of the population living in these areas.  Whereas those living in households where the median income is €60,000 or more accounted for more than 23% of cases while making up 18% of population. However, this has changed over the weeks, with the number of cases in households with higher incomes falling from 25% and the incidence of cases in lower income households rising from 20% of cases in the early weeks.

The data also shows that there has been an increase in the proportions of cases in areas of higher working age welfare dependency as the weeks have progressed though there has been no increase in cases in areas with a high proportion of people in receipt of a State pension.


Area of deprivation (quintiles)MalesFemales
First quintile (least deprived)3636
Fifth quintile (most deprived)3327

For further COVID-19 related information go to the CSO COVID-19 Information Hub

Table 1 Profile of COVID-19 Deaths and Cases up to and including Friday May 22 2020

Table 2 & Table 2A Weekly Profile of COVID-19 Confirmed Deaths 1,3

Table 3 & Table 3A Weekly Profile of COVID-19 Confirmed Cases

Table 4 & 4A Weekly Electoral Division (ED) Analysis of Confirmed Covid-19 Cases

Table 5: COVID-19 Mortality and confirmed incident standardised rates as of May 21ST

Further Information