The aim of the work is to find the factors that caused the differences in the change in the mortality rate in the regions caused by the pandemic. Using the data of official statistics and the results of regionally representative data of sample socio-demographic surveys of Rosstat, the authors attempt to achieve the goal by methods of both demographic and statistical analysis. The analysis showed that a significant part of the variation of regions in terms of mortality growth is explained by the characteristics of the demographic structure of the region (a high proportion of elderly people in the region, a large household size, the proportion of people with cancer in the region), as well as high population density and frequency of social contacts (especially in large cities). It was noteworthy that there was no significant impact on the regional differentiation of mortality from the availability of medical services and the scale of health infrastructure, which apparently indicates that in 2020 the probability of dying from COVID-19 or concomitant complications did not depend much on the actions of doctors and the equipment of hospitals. The paper also highlights the problem of imperfection of the research information base in terms of the selection of objective indicators and methods for analyzing the contribution of the COVID-19 epidemic to the level and dynamics of mortality.
Keywords: COVID-19, morbidity, mortality, health, primary component analysis, regional differentiation.
JEL: I15, J11, O15.