According to a Google research, population mobility has declined sharply in all European countries except Sweden. They were able to draw such conclusions thanks to location data from users’ mobile devices.
For the project, Google used anonymous location data, which the company collects from billions of smartphones around the world. The researchers wanted to analyze how the movement of people has changed due to the spread of the coronavirus and how much the authorities have effectively blocked this process. They were able to collect data on 130 countries around the world, but Russia is not among them.
“We decided to collect this data because we have repeatedly heard that aggregated anonymous data can be useful for making decisions to combat COVID-19”, said Jennitz Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of Google.
In countries with severe restrictions, mobility has declined the most. According to Google, in Germany and the UK visits to restaurants and shops fell by about 80%. In Italy, the same indicator was 94%.
Sweden, on the other hand, has the smallest decrease inactivity. At railway stations and public transport stops, the movement of citizens decreased by 36%. Most quarantine measures touched Stockholm – by 45%.
Reports are based only on data received from users who have enabled the setting of location history in their Google accounts, it is disabled by default. “As in all samples, our project may not reflect the behavior of the majority of the population,” the report says.