S’pore Ranked Best Place to Be Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic By Bloomberg, Beating Out NZ

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Despite being a teeny tiny city-state, we like to be on top of things.

Scratch that, we love to be on top of things.

With the kiasu spirit running through our souls and blood, our never-ending desire to be number 1 at the top (well, or at the bottom—a.k.a our Press Freedom Index) almost always prevails.

And prevailed it has, for we have risen to the top spot in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, even beating out New Zealand!

Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking

Before we get into all that, you might be wondering: “What is this ranking thing?” and “How are countries ranked?”

Well, Bloomberg has only decided to score economies of more than US$200 billion each month for brevity and relevance, so only 53 countries are pitted against each other.

Wah, SG damn big sia. Ironically.

A wide range of data is used to capture where the pandemic is being handled the most effectively, with the least social and economic disruptions. This is scored against ten core metrics such as the number of cases per 100,000 people, the monthly fatality rate, and vaccine access.

TODAYonline adds that the indicators are compiled by news agencies or reputable third-party organisations.

As with most scoring systems, the higher the country’s score (on a scale from 0 to 100), the better its performance in handling the virus. The final Bloomberg Resilience Score is the average of a place’s performance across the 10 indicators, equally weighted.

Some indicators, especially ones belonging to the “Quality of Life” section, were particularly interesting.

Unlike the other indicators, Bloomberg chose to interpret the lockdown severity as a negative—the higher the score, the more disruption people were experiencing. The index was produced by the University of Oxford to assess the strictness of government policies.

Singapore has one of the highest lockdown severity scores amongst the top 5 countries in the Resilience Ranking.

Another intriguing indicator was the Human Development Index (HDI) which measures the well-being of the population through their life expectancy, access to education and income per capita.

How is this linked to a country’s performance in a pandemic?

Bloomberg revealed that the index was a proxy for how populations reacted to the crisis, such as years of schooling being a “key determinant” in whether people follow public health guidelines on social distancing and mask-wearing.


A higher life expectancy also implied a more equitable healthcare system that was accessible to all parts of the population.

To dive even more in-depth into Bloomberg’s methodology, click here!

Singapore’s Performance

The ranking is updated in the last week of every month, which is why we only see Singapore jump up to first place—toppling the much-lauded New Zealand—after we intensified our vaccination programme.

If you’re curious about the numbers, Bloomberg gave Singapore a resilience score of 79.7 out of 100. The next three countries—New Zealand, Australia, and Israel—were given Bloomberg Resilience Scores of 79.6, 76.2, and 74.9 respectively.

Phew, it looks like we won by a hair!

According to TODAYonline, these were our past rankings:

So you go to social media and it appears that everyone is agreeing with your views. Watch this video to the end and you’d realise that there’s a disturbing reason behind this:

  • November 2020: 11th
  • December 2020: 5th
  • January 2021: 2nd
  • February 2021: 3rd
  • March 2021: 2nd

Bloomberg noted that our country has gotten locally-transmitted cases down to “near-zero” with our strict quarantine programme and imposition of border curbs, and that Singaporeans are able to regain quite a bit of normalcy in our daily lives.

Most significantly, a fifth of our population has been vaccinated, which pushes Singapore ahead of other relatively successful countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan, since their vaccination rates are lower.

Our investment in public health infrastructure—mandatory mask-wearing and contact tracing—also contributed to our high ranking.


The top ten countries in the April 2021 ranking and their Bloomberg Resilience Scores are as follow:

  1. Singapore: 79.7
  2. New Zealand: 79.6
  3. Australia: 76.2
  4. Israel: 74.9
  5. Taiwan: 74.7
  6. South Korea: 72.7
  7. Japan: 70.9
  8. The United Arab Emirates (UAE): 69.7
  9. Finland: 68.9
  10. Hong Kong: 68.2

Check out the full rankings and Bloomberg’s full article here!

Feature Image: Richie Chan / Shutterstock.com

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