The United States suffers record unemployment while Europe fares better in battling the coronavirus shutdown.
- 17.2 Public Health
- 53.6 Financial
- 100 Fact-Based
Despite strong financial support and a reliance on facts, France’s weak public health directives, particularly its relaxed lockdown, and limited testing keep its score near the median.
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 ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Sep 1.)
Public Health Directives
France has a relatively weak public health policy score, largely due to a relaxed stay-at-home policy, limited testing and contact tracing, and relatively little emergency healthcare spending.
- Stay at home order 1
- Public gathering restrictions 4
- School closings 0
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 2
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $67.56
- Travel restrictions 0
- Tests/1,000 people 12.7
- Contact tracing 2
France has had a financial response around the median, characterized by generous debt forbearance and income support for both employed and unemployed workers.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 10.4%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 1
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 Sep 1
Despite a high death rate, France has kept its confirmed cases of coronavirus relatively low, likely attributable to its testing a wide range of the population, resulting in its relatively strong current status; its poor public health policies might explain the much higher death rate.
- Total deaths 30,635
- Death rate per 100K 469.3
- Total cases 281,025
- Cases per 100K 4,305
- Percent of positive tests 3.6
- Change in positivity rates +2.2
|1||Jun 02||Restaurants and bars reopen for outdoor dining||14.91|
|2||Jun 22||Nursery schools, primary schools, and junior high schools reopen||6.91|
|3||Aug 12||Halts plan to allow public gatherings of 5,000 people until October 30.||25.91|
- Face masks made mandatory amid case spike: Mask requirements are expanding from most enclosed spaces to workplaces and public areas, with requirements to apply to those age 11 and over. Read More
- Income support mitigated layoffs: France has averted high unemployment by paying 80 percent of wages to workers who would otherwise be laid off due to the pandemic. Read More
- Pre-pandemic healthcare tensions stymied response: Despite being widely seen as one of the best healthcare systems in the world prior to the outbreak, nearly half of France's public hospital workers were protesting low salaries and disorganization in the health system. Read More
- Majority disapprove of government response: The French public has criticized the pandemic response, with 62 percent of those polled describing the government as 'incapable' of containing the crisis. Read More
Compared with Neighboring Countries
Per 1M 35,483
While hit hard by COVID-19, Italy’s reliance on facts and relatively strong public health policies helped slow the spread and resulted in a relatively strong performance; its relatively limited financial response could have been impacted by its high levels of debt.
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.
Per 1M 29,152
Spain has a median score due to reliance on facts and an open media and a generous debt-forbearance policy. However, limited restrictions on public interactions and little stimulus support may be the reason why its cases are once again rising rapidly, bringing its score down.
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