64.3 Overall Score (down 7.6 since Aug 1st.)


  • 19.6 Public Health
  • 50.5 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 19.6 Public Health
  • 50.5 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

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.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Norway ranked near the top in most categories in pre-pandemic preparedness, except for hospital beds.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 40%
  • GDP/capita $79,638
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 27
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 2
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 90.5
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 27.7

Government Response

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

Public Health Directives

Norway’s low public health policy score was negatively impacted by its lack of a lockdown, and limited testing policy and contact tracing.

  • Stay at home order 0
  • Public gathering restrictions 2
  • School closings 0
  • Public event cancellations 0
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $5.13
  • Travel restrictions 2
  • Tests/1,000 people 188.5
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Norway scored slightly above the median for its financial response, with generous debt support, although its stimulus package is limited.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 5.5%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

Norway’s government is very strong in this category, as it has not engaged in misinformation or limited press freedom in response to COVID-19.

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

COVID-19 Status as of Oct 1

Norway performs very strongly in this category, with a very low death rate, low case rate, and low positivity score, which could be influenced by its strong pre-pandemic capacity, but is likely negatively impacted by its poor public health policies during the pandemic.

  • Total deaths 274
  • Death rate per 100K 50.5
  • Total cases 13,914
  • Cases per 100K 2,567
  • Percent of positive tests 1.3
  • Change in positivity rates +0.9
Case Trend Line
Daily cases
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 07 Cinemas are allowed to reopen 7.54
2 May 11 Schools reopen (except for colleges and universities) 7.64
3 Jun 01 Bars reopen 2.69
4 Jun 15 Universities reopen 2.69

Differentiating Factors

  • Elderly hit hardest by COVID-19: Research finds that nine out of ten Norwegian COVID-19 victims over seventy years old have had a chronic condition. Read More
  • School reopenings don't increase cases: Evidence suggests that despite Norway's COVID-19 reproduction rate increasing to over 1, reopening schools has not contributed to the rekindling of cases. Read More
  • Cruise line accepts responsibility for missteps producing more cases: A cruise company in Norway is facing an outbreak and acknowledges it made mistakes along the way that likely increased the number of cases. Read More
  • Sovereign wealth funded response: Norway withdrew an unprecedented $37 billion from its wealth fund to support its emergency response to COVID-19, more than four times any previous amount. The move demonstrated the scale of economic damage inflicted by both the pandemic and the slump in oil prices. Norway is western Europe's biggest crude oil exporter. Read More
  • Schools re-opened with strict protocols: Norway began re-opening kindergartens and elementary schools in late April. Parents and children must follow strict social distancing protocols, and schools are encouraged to conduct as much class as possible outside. Norway's authorities cited Sweden and Denmark as indicators that children are not major transmitters of the virus. Read More
  • Tracing app cancelled due to lack of cases: Norway's COVID-19 tracing app has been cancelled and all associated data deleted, after the country's data protection authority ruled that the app's 'invasion of privacy' was no longer justifiable in light of sustained low transmission rates. The app tracked and stored all GPS movements of users for 30 days. Read More
Compared with Other Nordic States
  • 56.6
    Finland 9,992
    Per 1M

    Clear, fact-based communications and a generous stimulus package have been instrumental factors in Finland's COVID-19 response, with the country managing to keep cases relatively low.

  • 58.2
    Sweden 93,615
    Per 1M

    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.

  • 55.1
    Iceland 2,728
    Per 1M

    Iceland scores near the median, having strong public communications and testing but moderate interventions otherwise.

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