August 10, 2022 | Press Release

COVID-19: Release of the COVerAGE-Database Website


The website for the COVerAGE-Database, a global demographic database on COVID-19, was published recently by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany. More than 70 researchers from around the world collaborated to collect COVID-19 data from 120 countries, standardize it and making it available online.

COVerAGE-DB is a global demographic database on COVID-19 funded, coordinated, and hosted at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany. The open-access database collects cumulative counts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths, tests, and vaccines by age and sex.

“The main goal of COVerAGE-DB is to provide a centralized, standardized, age-harmonized, and fully reproducible database of COVID-19 data”, says Enrique Acosta, one of the three Directors of the database.

An international team of more than 70 researchers contributed to collecting data and metadata in COVerAGE-DB from governmental institutions. The team started their work right at the beginning of the pandemic in spring 2020. “We wanted to provide researchers around the world with high-quality data by age and sex with the maximum geographical coverage, and also include information on a regional level as quickly as possible”, says Enrique Acosta. Since the beginning of the pandemic it was clear that information by age was essential for understanding population-level differences in COVID-19 incidence, severity, and mortality.

As of today, the database includes more than 120 countries and 700 subnational areas. Although it is still in development, the database has more measures disaggregated by age and sex than other comparable demographic databases on COVID-19.

Since collection efforts began, the data was used in more than 30 studies. They were published in high impact journals such as Nature, PNAS and the International Journal of Epidemiology. In addition, UNICEF uses the database as the main source to analyze the impacts of COVID-19 on infant and child mortality and have built this useful interactive dashboard based on COVerAGE-DB.



Another COVID-19 database is coordinated at the MPIDR: The Short Term Mortality Fluctuations (STMF) database provides weekly all-cause mortality data for developed countries, as well as a visualization toolkit


Riffe, T., Acosta, E., the COVerAGE-DB team (2021) Data Resource Profile: COVerAGE-DB: a global demographic database of COVID-19 cases and deaths. International Journal of Epidemiology (2021). DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyab027. 

Dudel, C., Riffe, T., Acosta, E., van Raalte, A., Strozza, C., Myrskylä, M.: Monitoring trends and differences in COVID-19 case-fatality rates using decomposition methods: Contributions of age structure and age-specific fatality. PLOS ONE (2020). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238904

Pifarré i Arolas, H., Acosta, E., Myrskylä, M.: Optimal vaccination age varies across countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2021) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2105987118

Pifarré i Arolas, H., Acosta, E., López-Casasnovas, G., Lo, A., Nicodemo, C, Riffe, T., Myrskylä, M.Years of life lost to COVID-19 in 81 countries. Sci Rep (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-83040-3

Morwinsky, S., Acosta, E., Nitsche, N.: COVID-19 fatality in Germany: Demographic determinants of variation in case-fatality rates across and within German federal states during the first and second waves. Demographic Research (2021). DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2021.45.45

Aburto, J.M., Schöley, J., Kashnitsky, I., Zhang, L., Rahal, C., Missov, T.I., Mills, M.C., Dowd, J.B., Kashyap, R.: Quantifying impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through life expectancy losses: a population-level study of 29 countries. International Journal of Epidemiology (2021). DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyab207

Open Source

All scripts for automatic collection, data processing, and statistical modeling are openly available in the GitHub repository of the COVerAGE-DB project:

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

Database Directors

Enrique Acosta, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Jonas Schöley, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Timothy Riffe, Universidad del País Vasco, Ikerbasque (Basque Foundation for Science), Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Database Coordinators

Manal Elzalabany, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Maxi Kniffka, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research


Head of the Department of Public Relations and Publications

Silvia Leek


+49 381 2081-143

Science Communication Editor

Silke Schulz


+49 381 2081-153

Database Directors

Guest Researcher

Enrique Acosta


Affiliate Researcher

Timothy Riffe


The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.