47.9 Overall Score (up 2.1 since Aug 1st.)


  • 32.6 Public Health
  • 33.6 Financial
  • 80 Fact-Based
  • 32.6 Public Health
  • 33.6 Financial
  • 80 Fact-Based

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.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Spain did well in most subcategories, but its low number of hospital beds likely played a large role in officials struggling with the COVID-19 case spike, bringing its score down.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 97.1%
  • GDP/capita $43,008
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 34.7
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 3
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 89.6
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 21.2

Government Response

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

Public Health Directives

Spain has relatively weak public health policy, driven by a relaxed stay-at-home policy, few public gathering restrictions, limited testing, and minimal funds allocated for emergency healthcare spending.

  • Stay at home order 1
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 0
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 0
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $90.04
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 125.1
  • Contact tracing 1

Financial Response

Spain had had a median financial response, driven heavily by generous income support and debt-forbearance policy, although it implemented the former late in its crisis.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 7.8%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

Spain’s government has been relatively strong in this category, as it has not engaged in misinformation, but it has limited the media’s access to information regarding COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 1

COVID-19 Status as of Sep 1

Spain’s early experience of the pandemic, characterized by a very high volume of cases and deaths, put it in the bottom quartile, but it now seems to be testing a wide range of the population, as seen by its very low positivity rate.

  • Total deaths 29,152
  • Death rate per 100K 623.5
  • Total cases 462,858
  • Cases per 100K 10,073
  • Percent of positive tests 8.4
  • Change in positivity rates +3.3
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 26 Schools, theaters, and exhibitions partially reopen 12.90
2 Jun 10 Bars and restaurants reopen 5.97
3 Aug 14 Nightclubs close, outdoor consumption of alcohol is banned, and bars and restaurants must close by 1 a.m. 86.93

Differentiating Factors

  • Spain expands testing in bid to understand second wave: The government is overseeing an expanded and randomized testing regime in a bid to understand the country's mounting second wave, which has seen high case incidences but low fatalities and hospitalizations. Doctors believe this may be due to the relatively younger profile of the new wave of COVID sufferers. Read More
  • Spaniards divided over government response: New polling by Pew Research Center finds that Spain is divided over the government's coronavirus response, with 47% of respondents saying their country has done a bad job of dealing with the outbreak, and 53% saying the response has been good. Read More
  • Strong financial response helped control spread: Spain's success in gaining control of an early and catastrophic coronavirus spread can be largely credited to its generous financial response. The central government announced a 200 billion euro relief package, half of which was earmarked for struggling business and 9 billion euros of which is being used to strengthen regional healthcare systems. Read More
  • Government's minimum-income policy preventing layoffs: The government has introduced a guaranteed minimum income scheme which pays up to 70 perecent of salaries and is currently supporting 2 million workers. Spain's Labor Minister announced the extension of this scheme into 2021, to avoid a cliff edge scenario in which millions are suddenly laid off when the scheme ends. Read More
  • Major unemployment, especially among youth: Despite this economic support, around one million Spaniards have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, about half of whom are under 35 years old. The government hopes that the creation of new seasonal jobs will benefit the youth population, which already suffered from high levels of unemployment before the pandemic. Read More
Compared with EU Neighbors
  • 58.4
    France 281,025
    Per 1M

    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.

  • 68.7
    Germany 243,599
    Per 1M

    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.

  • 54.7
    Italy 269,214
    Per 1M

    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.

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