We study the final size equation for an epidemic in a subdivided population with general mixing patterns among subgroups. The equation is determined by a matrix with the same spectrum as the next generation matrix and it exhibits a threshold controlled by the common dominant eigenvalue, the basic reproduction number : There is a unique positive solution giving the size of the epidemic if and only if exceeds unity. When mixing heterogeneities arise only from variation in contact rates and proportionate mixing, the final size of the epidemic in a heterogeneously mixing population is always smaller than that in a homogeneously mixing population with the same basic reproduction number . For other mixing patterns, the relation may be reversed.
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