52.8 Overall Score (up 11.8 since Aug 1st.)


  • 38.9 Public Health
  • 37.3 Financial
  • 68 Fact-Based
  • 38.9 Public Health
  • 37.3 Financial
  • 68 Fact-Based

Mexico's score has deteriorated over time, due primarily to its extremely weak financial response and relatively weak public health policy, including very limited testing.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Low numbers of hospital beds and poor access to quality healthcare resulted in Mexico being poorly prepared for COVID-19.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 35.4%
  • GDP/capita $21,363
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 45.4
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 11
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 62.6
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 10.2

Government Response

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

Public Health Directives

Mexico’s health policy score was driven down to the median by extremely limited testing and very few emergency healthcare funds.

  • Stay at home order 2
  • Public gathering restrictions 3
  • School closings 3
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 1
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $56.93
  • Travel restrictions 1
  • Tests/1,000 people 12.5
  • Contact tracing 1

Financial Response

Mexico had a relatively weak financial response score, with extremely limited stimulus, and little income or debt support.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 1.2%
  • Income support 0
  • Debt forebearance 0

Fact-Based Communication

President Lopez Obrador has consistently downplayed the threat of COVID-19, accusing the media of exaggerating, encouraging Mexicans not to succumb to fear, and publicly flouting social distancing recommendations.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 1
  • Press freedom 1

COVID-19 Status as of Oct 1

Mexico scores around the median, with a high death rate and extremely high positivity rate, suggesting that it is only testing the sickest people and may be missing many positive cases.

  • Total deaths 77,646
  • Death rate per 100K 602.2
  • Total cases 743,216
  • Cases per 100K 5,764
  • Percent of positive tests 43
  • Change in positivity rates -12
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Apr 13 Those who can't telework are allowed back to work (especially those in construction and manufacturing) 2.79
2 May 18 300 municipalities are allowed to start reopening; automotive, construction, and mining sectors reopen 15.73
3 Jun 01 Restrictions begin easing, based on the situation in each state (green/yellow/orange/red coding); as of early August, 16 states are red (maximum restrictions), and 15 are orange 24.43

Differentiating Factors

  • Inequality worsens: 45 million people fall below the poverty line, forcing many to resume daily life despite increasing case numbers. Read More
  • Borders reopen to Americans: American tourists allowed in to ease economic tensions. Read More
  • Key leaders blame COVID-19 cases on soda: Health Undersecretary López-Gatell and Prime Minister Obradar have claimed that soda consumption has driven up comorbidities, resulting in the high number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico. Read More
  • School through TV to avoid education gaps: The Mexican government plans to record comprehensive school lessons for all grade levels from pre-K through high school, and then play them on TV and radio programs to reach those without TV or Internet access, in an effort to limit the education gap during COVID-19. Read More
  • Hospital fears driving up COVID-19 deaths: Many fear hospitals in Mexico, and are delaying getting care for COVID-19 until it is often too late for that very reason. Read More
  • Public salary cuts fund COVID-19 response: President Obrador chose not to raise public debt to mobilize emergency funding, instead raising $26 billion by cutting the salaries of top-level bureaucrats, and offering loans to 3 million businesses. Read More
  • Conflict between central and state governments: The pandemic has exposed conflict between the federal and state governments, with 18 Mexican states imposing stricter measures than the federal government, including stay-at-home orders, mandatory face mask use, and fines for social gatherings. In early May, nine governors announced they would not follow the federal timetable for re-opening, and instead make their own assessment of the situation locally. Read More
Compared with Other Western Hemisphere Countries
  • 39.1
    United States 7,233,043
    Per 1M

    Still battling widespread COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were exacerbated by the former administration's limited use of facts and science, limited emergency healthcare spending, and limited debt relief, the Biden administration, by contrast, is taking aggressive action to combat the virus, although it may take time for the score to reflect these changes.

  • 48.2
    Brazil 4,810,935
    Per 1M

    Brazil has a relatively weak score, primarily due to its poor public health policies, especially its very low levels of testing, coupled with President Bolsonaro’s spreading of misinformation about the virus.

  • 76.2
    Canada 158,758
    Per 1M

    Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.

  • 79.8
    Argentina 750,988
    Per 1M

    Argentina’s strong policy score is mainly due to its strong political response, characterized by clear, fact-based communication and regular press briefings by President Fernandez.

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