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- 25.1 Public Health
- 63 Financial
- 100 Fact-Based
Denmark scores slightly above the median, due to a robust healthcare system and to fiscal responses that safeguarded employment. Limited public health directives bring its score down.
Denmark’s universal healthcare system, coupled with a high GDP per capita and low debt-to-GDP ratio have contributed to its effective pandemic-response policies, though it is hurt by its low number of hospital beds.
- Debt/GDP ratio 34.3%
- GDP/capita $55,675
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 28.7
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 4
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 85.7
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 17.5
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Jan 1.)
Public Health Directives
Despite Denmark’s very high testing levels, relatively low emergency healthcare spending and a relaxed lockdown pull down its score.
- Stay at home order 1
- Public gathering restrictions 4
- School closings 2
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 3
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $16.53
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 1815.3
- Contact tracing 2
Denmark’s financial response has been relatively strong, driven by its generous income support.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 16%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 2
Denmark’s prime minister conducts weekly briefings that emphasise clear, fact-based messages.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 0
- Press freedom 0
COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1
Denmark scores near the median in this category, with a fairly low death rate and a very low positivity rate, although its case rate is relatively worse than before.
- Total deaths 1,322
- Death rate per 100K 228.2
- Total cases 166,567
- Cases per 100K 28,757
- Percent of positive tests 3.2
- Change in positivity rates +2
|1||Apr 15||Primary schools reopen||31.55|
|2||Apr 20||Non-essential health care services and some businesses, such as hair salons, reopen||29.55|
|3||May 11||Retail stores reopen||20.79|
|4||May 18||Restaurants and secondary schools reopen||11.22|
|5||May 21||Museums and zoos reopen||11.57|
|6||May 27||Cultural activities reopen||9.00|
|7||Jun 08||Numbers allowed at public gatherings raised from 10 to 50||6.49|
|8||Jul 01||Numbers allowed at public gatherings raised from 50 to 100||4.42|
|9||Aug 22||Facemasks mandatory on public transportation||18.99|
|10||Sep 19||Public gatherings limited to 50 people, and bars and restaurants must close at 10pm, until October 4th||71.33|
|11||Dec 07||Implemented targeted lockdowns in 38 of 98 municipalities||300.28|
|12||Dec 15||Lockdown extended to all municipalities||525.44|
- COVID-19 surge prompts nationwide shutdown: Denmark began its nationwide shutdown on December 16th, closing all shops besides pharmacies and grocery stores. Denmark was already under partial lockdown, which has now been expanded to include more businesses and all regions of the country. Read More
- Culled minks infected with COVID-19 rise from mass graves: After a mutated strain of COVID-19 was detected in Denmark's mink population, the nation planned to cull all 15 million minks in the country. However, the animals were buried in graves that were too shallow, and rose through the soil as the bodies decayed, prompting renewed concerns around contracting the virus. Read More
- Denmark developing digital "vaccine passport" for international travelers: Denmark is developing a digital pass for people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine in anticipation that other countries will require vaccine documentation upon entry. Read More
- Lockdown measures reimposed: Restrictions on gatherings were reinstated following the rise of daily infections after measures were relaxed in March and May. Read More
- Early success opening schools: Managing the outbreak through a nationwide lockdown helped to enable the opening of schools, with the youngest pupils returning first in limited cohorts; mandatory masks and handwashing set an example for other nations. Read More
- High wage-reimbursement levels: Denmark has kept its rate of unemployment low by reimbursing companies for up to 90 percent of furloughed workers' wages. Read More
- Early action enabling slow re-opening: The government has taken a two-part approach to the pandemic, initially focused on suppression via lockdown, and then mitigation, including contact tracing. In April, it became the first European country to re-open schools. Read More
Compared with Neighboring Countries
Per 1M 436
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.
Per 1M 8,727
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.
Per 1M 34,145
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.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- 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
- 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