72.5 Overall Score (up 6.4 since Aug 1st.)


  • 41.5 Public Health
  • 61.2 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 41.5 Public Health
  • 61.2 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

France maintained its improved public health policy from the early fall, keeping its score relatively strong, although poor contact tracing and a relatively small stimulus package kept it from being higher.

Pre-COVID Conditions

France had relatively strong socio-economic and healthcare capacity pre-pandemic, including a robust universal healthcare system (generally seen as one of the best in the world), minimal debt, and a very healthy population.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 98.4%
  • GDP/capita $48,640
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 31.6
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 3
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 87.9
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 46.7

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)

Public Health Directives

France scores near the median for public health policy, with sizeable relative declines in contact tracing and emergency healthcare spending in the past two months, undoing some of the progress it had made.

  • Stay at home order 2
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 1
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 3
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $177.71
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people NO DATA
  • Contact tracing 1

Financial Response

France has a relatively strong financial response score, driven by debt forbearance and income support for both employed and unemployed workers, although its stimulus package is relatively weak.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 15.8%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 0

Fact-Based Communication

High-level health officials have provided regular press briefings, first daily and then weekly and monthly.

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

COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15

France scored near the median in this category, as it lowered its death rate and substantially lowered its case rate since January.

  • Total deaths 24,105
  • Death rate per 100K 353.7
  • Total cases 4,138,345
  • Cases per 100K 262
  • Percent of positive tests 7.7
  • Change in positivity rates +2.5
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Jun 02 Restaurants and bars reopen for outdoor dining -9.49
2 Jun 22 Nursery schools, primary schools, and junior high schools reopen 2.08
3 Aug 12 Halts plan to allow public gatherings of 5,000 people until October 30 38.12
4 Oct 30 Partial lockdown—schools open, but non-essential businesses close 725.98
5 Dec 15 Replace lockdown with night curfew 171.03

Differentiating Factors

Compared with Neighboring Countries
  • 48.6
    Italy 3,238,394
    Per 1M

    While hit hard by COVID-19, Italy’s reliance on facts and improved contact tracing has helped slow the spread and slightly improved its overall score since January.

  • 61
    Germany 2,585,385
    Per 1M

    Germany has improved its score a bit in the past few months, after a sharp decline in the fall. Its improvements in contact tracing, which are already likely underestimated in the data, and restrictions on public gatherings, have played important roles in this turnaround, although there has been a recent spike in cases, likely due to both recent restriction relaxations and vaccine rollout issues.

  • 31.3
    Spain 3,195,062
    Per 1M

    Spain's score jumped since January to just over the median, having implemented stricter public health policies, but the country's minimal stimulus support still drags down its overall score.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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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