Coronavirus

Published since 1962, PRB’s annual World Population Data Sheet tracks global population data. This year’s edition provides 24 population indicators for more than 200 countries and territories. Users can also explore key trends through an interactive map.

“As the experience with the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, population changes such as aging and rapid urbanization are important factors for countries to consider as they plan for future disease outbreaks, long-term health care needs and other developments,” said Jeff Jordan, PRB president and CEO. “PRB’s World Population Data Sheet provides objective data and analysis policymakers need to make these decisions.”

Among the key findings for 2020:

Vera Institute of Justice researchers collected data on the number of people in local jails and state and federal prisons at both midyear and fall 2020 to provide timely information on how incarceration is changing in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers estimated the national jail population using a sample of 1,558 jail jurisdictions and the national prison population based on a sample of 49 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Vera also collected data on people incarcerated and detained by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Claudia Goldin, former head of the American Economic Association, called the period beginning in the mid-1970s the quiet revolution in women's labor. The ranks of female workers had grown steadily after World War II, but what changed drastically starting in the '70s, according to Goldin, wasn't the raw numbers, but mindset. Women made employment decisions for themselves, they pursued careers, and their work became part of their identity. The COVID-19 pandemic, by any measure, has been a blow to that identity. Piled atop challenges such as pay disparities and expensive childcare is an economic downturn that hit women workers measurably harder than men—the so-called “she-cession.” One particularly sobering number: According to the U.S.

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), in partnership with the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) and the National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE), has been surveying human resources directors in state and local governments since 2009. This year’s survey continues many of the questions from that original survey, with additional detail around emerging issues such as flexible workplace policies, positions that are difficult to fill, and the reasons for separation as discussed in exit interviews. This year’s survey was conducted from February 27 to April 7, 2020, with a total of 222 respondents.

The COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting high and rising human costs worldwide, and the necessary protection measures are severely impacting economic activity. As a result of the pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by –3 percent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008–09 financial crisis. In a baseline scenario--which assumes that the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020 and containment efforts can be gradually unwound—the global economy is projected to grow by 5.8 percent in 2021 as economic activity normalizes, helped by policy support. The risks for even more severe outcomes, however, are substantial.

Global growth is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast. In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4 percent. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6½ percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020. The adverse impact on low-income households is particularly acute, imperiling the significant progress made in reducing extreme poverty in the world since the 1990s.

The months after the release of the June 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update have offered a glimpse of how difficult rekindling economic activity will be while the pandemic surges. During May and June, as many economies tentatively reopened from the Great Lockdown, the global economy started to climb from the depths to which it had plunged in April. But with the pandemic spreading and accelerating in places, many countries slowed reopening, and some are reinstating partial lockdowns. While the swift recovery in China has surprised on the upside, the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels of activity remains prone to setbacks.

The Global Competitiveness Report series has since its first edition aimed to prompt policy-makers beyond short term growth and to aim for long-run prosperity. The 2020 special edition is dedicated to elaborating on the priorities for recovery and revival, and considering the building blocks of a transformation towards new economic systems that combine “productivity”, “people” and “planet” targets.

Near-term global financial stability risks have been contained as an unprecedented policy response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped avert a financial meltdown and maintain the flow of credit to the economy. For the first time, many emerging market central banks have launched asset purchase programs to support the smooth functioning of financial markets and the overall economy. But the outlook remains highly uncertain, and vulnerabilities are rising, representing potential headwinds to recovery. The report presents an assessment of the real-financial disconnect, as well as forward-looking analysis of nonfinancial firms, banks, and emerging market capital flows. After the outbreak, firms’ cash flows were adversely affected as economic activity declined sharply.

How have U.S. workers handled disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak? And how have key measures like employee engagement and wellbeing fared? Jim Harter, Gallup's Chief Scientist on Workplace and Wellbeing, joins the podcast to break down Gallup's latest findings.