47.4 Overall Score (No change since Aug 1st)


  • 5 Public Health
  • 26.9 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 5 Public Health
  • 26.9 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

Belgium scores just above the median, with its generous income support and strong testing and contact tracing countered by limited public health directives.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Belgium had relatively strong pre-pandemic capacity, boasting accessible, quality healthcare, a healthy population, relatively low levels of inequality, and one of the highest rates of hospital beds per 100,000 people in the Index.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 102%
  • GDP/capita $50,905
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 27.4
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 3
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 87.9
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 44.5

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Oct 1.)

Public Health Directives

Belgium scores near the bottom on public health, with open testing and strong contact tracing countered by relatively weak policy on lockdowns, school closings, and emergency healthcare spending; most notably, Belgium's extremely high case rate pushes its scores down substantially, as most of its policies appear to be implemented well into its crisis.

  • Stay at home order 0
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 1
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $141.51
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 279.2
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Belgium’s low financial score is due to a relatively low stimulus as a share of GDP, and poor debt-relief opportunities.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 10.3%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 1

Fact-Based Communication

Belgium’s government has communicated regularly with the public, avoiding misinformation or exaggeration, and publishing excess death numbers as well as more basic statistics.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Oct 1

Belgium has the highest death rate in the Index, which health authorities attribute to COVID’s spread in care homes and a high case rate, although they seem to be capturing most cases through testing, and they are classifying cases as COVID-19-related in a far more liberal manner than any other country.

  • Total deaths 10,020
  • Death rate per 100K 864.6
  • Total cases 120,965
  • Cases per 100K 10,437
  • Percent of positive tests 4.5
  • Change in positivity rates +1.9
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 04 Some businesses reopen 38.15
2 May 18 Shops and schools reopen 25.53
3 Jun 08 Religious institutions reopen 10.44
4 Jul 01 Malls and pools reopen 7.16
5 Aug 24 People allowed to shop in pairs with no time limits 42.56
6 Sep 01 Schools (except universities) reopen, funeral receptions allowed up to 50 people, public events allowed up to 200 (indoors) and 400 (outdoors) people. 38.80
7 Sep 25 Travel allowed to high-risk regions, although discouraged. 137.98

Differentiating Factors

Compared with Neighboring Countries
  • 72.8
    Germany 291,722
    Per 1M

    Germany’s pandemic response has been praised around the world for its rapidly implemented contact tracing strategy and science-based leadership, although its public health policy declined significantly since the fall, bringing its overall score near the median; however, the data does not adequately account for Germany's contact tracing.

  • 64.3
    Norway 13,914
    Per 1M

    Norway scores just above the median, pulled down by its weak public health score, countering its semi-strong financial response and reliance on facts and a free press.

  • 58.2
    Sweden 93,615
    Per 1M

    Despite being known for a relatively strong public healthcare system, Sweden has been hit hard with cases; the country’s lack of stay-at-home orders and school closures, limited testing, and few gathering restrictions overshadowed its financial support and a reliance on facts and accountability with an open press.

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million