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- 35.5 Public Health
- 62.5 Financial
- 100 Fact-Based
Denmark’s relatively strong score can be credited to a capable pre-existing healthcare system and to fiscal responses that prioritize safeguarding employment.
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 Sep 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 2
- School closings 1
- Public event cancellations 1
- Testing policy 3
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $16.52
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 417.4
- Contact tracing 2
Denmark’s financial response has been relatively strong, driven by its generous income support.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 13.4%
- 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 Sep 1
Denmark has a very strong score in this category, with a fairly low death and case rate and a very low positivity rate, meaning that it is testing a wide range of its population.
- Total deaths 624
- Death rate per 100K 107.7
- Total cases 16,985
- Cases per 100K 2,932
- Percent of positive tests 0.3
- Change in positivity rates 0
|1||Apr 15||Primary schools reopen||35.52|
|2||Apr 20||Non-essential health care services and some businesses, such as hair salons, reopen||29.84|
|3||May 11||Retail stores reopen||22.35|
|4||May 18||Restaurants and secondary schools reopen||12.28|
|5||May 21||Museums and zoos reopen||11.10|
|6||May 27||Cultural activities reopen||9.47|
|7||Jun 08||Numbers allowed at public gatherings raised from 10 to 50||6.88|
|8||Jul 01||Numbers allowed at public gatherings raised from 50 to 100||5.11|
|9||Aug 22||Facemasks mandatory on public transportation||18.45|
- 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
- Keeping hospital visits low: Primary physicians and general practitioners are responsible for the majority of coronavirus diagnoses, with the aim of keeping hospital visits to a minimum. Read More
Compared with Neighboring Countries
Per 1M 264
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 5,831
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 9,302
Germany’s pandemic response has been praised around the world for its rapidly implemented contact tracing strategy and science-based leadership, which contribute to its relatively strong performance in the Index.
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