The Covid Resilience Ranking

The Best and Worst Places to Be as Global Vaccinations Take Off

Published: | Updated:

A lightning-fast vaccination drive has propelled Israel toward the top of Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, transforming everyday life to put the country alongside New Zealand and Taiwan as one of the best places to be in the coronavirus era.

Since starting shots three months ago, Israel has vaccinated more of its population than anywhere else in the world, helping it vault nine rungs to fifth place. The Resilience Ranking uses data to capture where the pandemic is being handled most effectively, with the least social and economic disruption—from mortality rates and testing to vaccine access and freedom of movement.

Cast as the magic bullet that would end the pandemic, vaccines are helping to reduce infections and deaths in places that prioritized rapid distribution. The U.S., U.K., and United Arab Emirates—places where doses given out are enough to cover at least a fifth of the population—all rose in this month’s Ranking, gaining on top performers like Australia and China, where the virus is all but eliminated.

Ranking Moves

Vaccine leaders jump in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking 👆

Meanwhile, Europe is paying the price for a chaotic vaccine rollout, with nine of the 10 most significant declines in March, and cities like Paris locked down again despite the bloc’s vast stockpile of shots.

Check out Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker

Israel is the first new entrant into the top of the Resilience Ranking since Bloomberg started keeping track in November, with the pantheon of Covid success stories dominated by economies in the Asia-Pacific. But unlike many top-performing places where entry is tightly policed to keep the coronavirus out, Israel’s vaccine-driven normalization means it’s easing border curbs quickly.

Covid Resilience Ranking

Get info and sort on table headers 👆 Sort on table headers 👆
Scroll to see all indicators →
  • ← Worse
  • Better →
Note: Latest data as of March 24, 2 p.m. Hong Kong time. Access to Covid Vaccines, an indicator tracking vaccine supply contracts, was removed in March 2021. See more here.

Read about the methodology behind the Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking

These turnarounds among the fastest inoculators come, however, amid the threat of a new global wave.

Cases and fatalities worldwide are rising again, particularly in the developing world, parts of which are yet to see a single vial of any vaccine. Nations in Latin America and Africa continue to occupy the lowest spots, with Mexico in last place since the Ranking’s inception, as the country’s fatality rate remains high and its economy falters. With 300,000 Covid deaths, Brazil has given out vaccine doses equivalent to just 4% of its population.

Burial at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic, on March 23. Photographer: Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images
Burial at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic, on March 23. Photographer: Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

The domination of vaccine supply by richer countries—which World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called a “catastrophic moral failure”—will likely prevent poorer nations from moving up in the coming months.

The Ranking’s top four show that snuffing out or containing Covid early continues to pay off in quality of life. But, with the exception of Singapore, these places are lagging on vaccinations as low caseloads have made the virus a distant threat. Going forward, that could put them at a disadvantage as the economies racing ahead with vaccination start to fully reopen.

The U.S. is a key example of the positive cycle that fast vaccination creates: cases dropped to the lowest level since early October this month and deaths have fallen too, leading some areas to ease mask mandates and reopen schools, restaurants and cinemas. With almost no border curbs, the world’s largest economy is expected to grow by 5.7% this year after a $1.9 trillion relief package was enacted.

The first Western country to vaccinate, the U.K., edged up five spots to 25th, fueled by waning caseloads and reopening of schools. The country’s set a road map for exiting lockdown in the coming weeks.

The Resilience Ranking scores economies of more than $200 billion each month on 10 core metrics. In March, we removed a measure tracking vaccine supply agreements, with distribution proving more important than the number of deals signed. Access is now represented by the People Covered By Vaccines metric.

Yes, new coronavirus variants pose a threat to the progress economies have made, and rapid reopening that outpaces vaccination could also fuel new waves. The sustainability of these vaccine-driven revivals will be the key focus into April, when we’ll update the Covid Resilience Ranking again.