MAPS: Where is the coronavirus spreading fastest in Sweden?

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards - [email protected]
MAPS: Where is the coronavirus spreading fastest in Sweden?
Sweden's popular west coast is one of the regions currently experiencing a fast spread of the virus. File photo: Per Pixel Petersson/

At the national level, Sweden's coronavirus infection rate has fallen over the summer, but the picture varies across the country. Here's a close look at the situation in each of the 21 regions and 290 municipalities.


The map below shows which regions reported the most new confirmed cases per capita during the week ending August 9th (week 32), the most recent for which there is regional data available from the Public Health Agency.

Most new cases by quite some margin were reported in Västra Götaland (671 cases, or 39 per 100,000 residents), followed by Stockholm (364 new cases, 15 per 100,000 residents) and Skåne (184 new cases, 13 per 100,000 residents). These are Sweden's three most populous regions and home to the country's largest cities.

But when looking specifically at the per capita rate, it was the island of Gotland – a popular tourism spot – that saw the highest infection rate; it recorded only 34 new confirmed cases in week 32, but that worked out as 57 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The next highest new cases per capita were in Västra Götaland (39 per 100,000 residents) and Kronoberg, where 62 new cases meant a weekly rate of 31 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Note that there are regional differences in how testing is offered, which may be exacerbated during the summer months due to differences in healthcare capacity, making it hard to make direct comparisons between regions.


Even within regions, the incidence rate of coronavirus can vary significantly even between nearby neighbourhoods. 
The map below breaks down the data on a municipal level, again with the darkest colours showing the areas with the highest rate of infection per capita in week 32. Municipalities with fewer than 15 total cases since the start of the outbreak are shown as grey on the map. Several other municipalities reported zero new cases in week 32, but data is shown for those with 15 or more total cases.

The municipal data is based on where patients were registered as resident, while the regional data includes all tests taken per region, including of people who were visiting or not yet registered in Sweden's population register. This means there are some discrepancies between the two maps, including in Gotland, which is both a region and a municipality.
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The ten municipalities with the most new cases reported in week 32 were: Gothenburg (257), Stockholm (159), Malmö (55), Jönköping (45) Uppsala (45), Växjö (41), Kungsbacka (37), Ale (35), Västerås (31) and Linköping (28).

But looking at which municipalities reported the most new cases that week per capita, the top ten are Dals-Ed, Lysekil, Sötenäs, Ale, Horfors, Herrljunga, Finspång, Tanum, Tingsryd, and Årjäng, of which six are located in Västra Götaland.
On the Public Health Agency's website, it's possible to look back at the data for previous weeks, so you can see how the situation has developed in your local area.


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