30.8 Overall Score (down 20.8 since Aug 1st.)


  • 0 Public Health
  • 40.9 Financial
  • 88 Fact-Based
  • 0 Public Health
  • 40.9 Financial
  • 88 Fact-Based

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, reliance on facts, and accountability with an open press.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Strong in most subcategories, a low number of hospital beds brought Sweden’s score down slightly in pre-pandemic conditions.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 38.5%
  • GDP/capita $55,989
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 28.8
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 2
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 90.5
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 18.2

Government Response

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

Public Health Directives

Sweden has a very poor public health policy score, due to having no stay-at-home policy, not shutting schools, not cancelling public events, limited testing, and devoting few resources to emergency healthcare funds.

  • Stay at home order 1
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 0
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $64.26
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people NO DATA
  • Contact tracing 1

Financial Response

Sweden has a median financial response to the pandemic, with generous income support and financial stimulus undercut by a very weak debt-forbearance policy.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 20.9%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 1

Fact-Based Communication

Sweden’s government is very strong in this category as it has engaged in very little misinformation, and has not limited press freedom in response to COVID-19. Its chief epidemiologist did suggest facemask usage wouldn’t slow the spread of the virus, however.

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

COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1

Sweden scores poorly in country status, with a very high case rate and median death rate, coupled with a worsening positivity rate.

  • Total deaths 8,727
  • Death rate per 100K 864.1
  • Total cases 437,379
  • Cases per 100K 43,308
  • Percent of positive tests 12.1
  • Change in positivity rates +9.9
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Nov 20 Ban sale of alchol in bars/restaurants after 10 pm, shut down after 10:30 pm 437.66
2 Nov 24 Public gatherings of 4+ people banned 468.51

Differentiating Factors

Compared with Other Nordic States
  • 53.9
    Norway 49,803
    Per 1M

    Norway scores just below the median, pulled down by its weak public health and financial response scores, despite a strong reliance on facts and a free press.

  • 61.4
    Iceland 5,754
    Per 1M

    Iceland has a very strong score, owing heavily to its reliance on facts as well as generous debt and income support; its large improvement since January was keyed by significant improvements in public health policy and financial support.

  • 53.5
    Finland 36,403
    Per 1M

    Clear, fact-based communications, a generous stimulus package, and substantial improvements in public health policy in the past few months have been instrumental factors in Finland's strong and much-improved COVID-19 response.

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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