Clarification on the number of Covid-19 app downloads

The figures below have been discussed with NHSX and broadly accepted as a rule of thumb. All figures are approximate.

Top Lines

  • The total smartphone owning Island adult population is probably around 90,000.
  • The total smartphone owning Island adult population who can download the app is probably around 80,000.
  • The numbers as of last Thursday (14th May) who have downloaded the app on the Island is 52,250.
  • This is 65 percent of the 80,000 of the total number who could download the app.

This is worked out as follows:

  • 140,000 total Island population, minus approximately 20,000 kids = 120,000 (it’s actually a little more, but let’s round up). Nationwide, there is 79 percent national smart phone ownership. Let’s say it is a touch lower here, therefore 75 percent.
  • 75 percent of 120,000 = 90,000 Islanders. That is the approx number of adult, smart phone owners on the Island.
  • Therefore, every 1k of Islanders who download app equates to just over 1 percent of adult population who own a smartphone.

However, the numbers of adult Islanders who can download the NHS app is probably around 80k. This is worked out as follows:

  • the app can’t be installed by Huawei phone users (6 percent national average) or by users of older smartphones (at least percent five percent, although could be more).

Therefore, the total for these two is probably brings the number of smart user users who can download the app to around 80,000.

Next, the 73,000 figure used last week by Grant Shapps does not mean 73,000 Islanders have downloaded the app. (The actual number was approx. 71,000.)

This is worked out as follows:

  • NHSX consider that only 80 percent of this number are unique Island downloads. Perhaps near 20 percent are mainlanders, media, or under 16s Islanders, or perhaps Islanders who have downloaded the app more than once.
  • So that would mean a total of approx. 50-60k unique downloads from the Island, out of a possible total of approx. 80k.
  • The figure which is currently given is 52,250.

Therefore, probably around 5.2 people out of 8 people - or approx. 65 percent - who could download the app may have done so as of the middle of last week.

Until we have more numbers, or statisticians provide a more accurate assessment, I would suggest this is as very approximate way of giving context to numbers.

In overall terms, the large number of downloads on the Isle of Wight is very welcome. It means that we are helping to make our community safer and inform the development of the app ahead of the national rollout.