publication . Article . 2021

Sociodemographic determinants of intraurban variations in COVID-19 incidence: the case of Barcelona

Antonio López-Gay; Jeroen Spijker; Helen Cole; Antonio G. Marques; Margarita Triguero-Mas; Isabelle Anguelovski; Marc Marí-Dell’Olmo; Juan A. Módenes; Dolores Álamo-Junquera; Fernando López-Gallego; ...
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Jan 2021
  • Country: Spain
BackgroundIntraurban sociodemographic risk factors for COVID-19 have yet to be fully understood. We investigated the relationship between COVID-19 incidence and sociodemographic factors in Barcelona at a fine-grained geography.MethodsThis cross-sectional ecological study is based on 10 550 confirmed cases of COVID-19 registered during the first wave in the municipality of Barcelona (population 1.64 million). We considered 16 variables on the demographic structure, urban density, household conditions, socioeconomic status, mobility and health characteristics for 76 geographical units of analysis (neighbourhoods), using a lasso analysis to identify the most relevant variables. We then fitted a multivariate Quasi-Poisson model that explained the COVID-19 incidence by neighbourhood in relation to these variables.ResultsNeighbourhoods with: (1) greater population density, (2) an aged population structure, (3) a high presence of nursing homes, (4) high proportions of individuals who left their residential area during lockdown and/or (5) working in health-related occupations were more likely to register a higher number of cases of COVID-19. Conversely, COVID-19 incidence was negatively associated with (6) percentage of residents with post-secondary education and (7) population born in countries with a high Human Development Index.ConclusionLike other historical pandemics, the incidence of COVID-19 is associated with neighbourhood sociodemographic factors with a greater burden faced by already deprived areas. Because urban social and health injustices already existed in those geographical units with higher COVID-19 incidence in Barcelona, the current pandemic is likely to reinforce both health and social inequalities, and urban environmental injustice all together.
Persistent Identifiers
Fields of Science and Technology classification (FOS)
03 medical and health sciences, 0302 clinical medicine, 030204 cardiovascular system & hematology, 030212 general & internal medicine
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
4. Education
free text keywords: COVID-19, spatial analysis, social inequalities, public health, neighbourhood, place, Intraurban sociodemographic risk factors, Barcelona, Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Original Research, 2474, COVID-19, spatial analysis, social inequalities, public health, neighbourhood/place, Demography, Population, education.field_of_study, education, Ecological study, Neighbourhood (mathematics), Public health, medicine.medical_specialty, medicine, business.industry, business, Urban density, Social inequality, Socioeconomic status, Incidence (epidemiology)
  • COVID-19
Funded by
Green Locally Unwanted Land Uses
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 678034
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERC | ERC-STG
Healthy lifespan inequality: Measurement, trends and determinants
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 864616
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERC | ERC-COG
Validated by funder
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