COVID Fatality Rates per Age Groups

There are several observations worth noting. First, as we have long known, people of college age and younger are very unlikely to die. The 5-9 and 10-14 age groups are the least likely to die. (Note that an IFR of 0.001% means that one person in that age group will die for every 100,000 infected.) The 0-4 and 15-19 age groups are three times likelier to die than the 5-9 and 10-14 age groups, but the risk is still exceedingly small at 0.003% (or 3 deaths for every 100,000 infected).
Second, the IFR slowly increases with age through the 60-64 age group. But after that, beginning with the 65-69 age group, the IFR rises sharply. This group has an overall IFR just over 1% (or 1 death for every 100 infected). That’s a fairly major risk of death. (The red line in the chart marks where the “1% threshold” is crossed.) The IFR then grows substantially and becomes quite scary for people in their 70s and older. People in the 75-79 age group have more than a 3% chance of dying if infected with coronavirus, while people aged 80 and over have more than an 8% chance of dying. That’s roughly the same chance as rolling a four with two dice.
Third, the virus discriminates. Beginning with the 20-24 age group, men are about twice as likely to die as women from COVID. This pattern remains in each age group through 80+.
With this data, let’s hope that public health officials and policymakers can craft smart guidelines in regard to what parts of society should be locked down and how vaccines should be allocated.
Source: O’Driscoll, M. et al. “Age-specific mortality and immunity patterns of SARS-CoV-2.” Nature. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2918-0 (2020).