Country-Level Governance Indicators as Predictors of COVID-19 Morbidity, Mortality, and Vaccination Coverage: An Exploratory Global Analysis

Mahdi Baghbanzadeh, Madison Smith, Juergen Pilz, M. Sohel Rahman, Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic, Ashvita Garg, Esther Annan, Uyen Sa D.T. Nguyen, Nathan Schedler, Rajesh Nandy, Rafiul Islam, Ubydul Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all countries across the globe, this study seeks to investigate the relationship between nations' governance, COVID-19 national data, and nation-level COVID-19 vaccination coverage. National-level governance indicators (corruption index, voice and accountability, political stability, and absence of violence/terrorism), officially reported COVID-19 national data (cases, death, and tests per one million population), and COVID-19 vaccination coverage was considered for this study to predict COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Results indicate a strong relationship between nations' governance and officially reported COVID-19 data. Countries were grouped into three clusters using only the governance data: politically stable countries, average countries or "less corrupt countries,"and corrupt countries or "more corrupt countries."The clusters were then tested for significant differences in reporting various aspects of the COVID-19 data. According to multinomial regression, countries in the cluster of politically stable nations reported significantly more deaths, tests per one million, total cases per one million, and higher vaccination coverage compared with nations both in the clusters of corrupt countries and average countries. The countries in the cluster of average nations reported more tests per one million and higher vaccination coverage than countries in the cluster of corrupt nations. Countries included in the corrupt cluster reported a lower death rate and morbidity, particularly compared with the politically stable nations cluster, a trend that can be attributed to poor governance and inaccurate COVID-19 data reporting. The epidemic evaluation indices of the COVID-19 cases demonstrate that the pandemic is still evolving on a global level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1073
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2022


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