The Global Health Security Index of 2019 for the US and Key Countries

The Global Health Security Index of 2019 and its relevance to preventing virus pandemics.

The Index was published in October, 2019, and analyzes the readiness of the world’s countries to combat pandemics, like we are now experiencing with the coronavirus.  We look at the preparation of key world countries in overall score and the six categories of health care, and their overall scores. For key countries like the United States, China, and India, we also look at all of the 34 indicators of their ratings.  There are also 85 subindicators, based on 140 questions.  The Index site is at


The six categories are:

  1.  Prevent:  Prevention of the Emergence or Release of Pathogens
  2. Detect:  Early Detection and Reporting for Epidemics of Potential International Concern
  3. Respond:  Rapid Response to and Mitigation of the Spread of an Epidemic
  4. Health:  Sufficient and Robust Health System to Treat the Sick and Protect Health Workers
  5. Norms:  Commitments to Improving National Capacity, Financing, and Adherence to Norms
  6. Risk:  Overall Risk Environment and Country Vulnerability to Biological Threats

The scores are from 0 to 100 in each category, and also in the overall score.  The first numerical rating is of the particular country, and the second is the average of al 195 countries.  We start with the US, and then the world’s two largest countries, China and India.  If the world average is only over countries regardless of population weighting, it is not so meaningful.  In the graphs, the colored ratings are for the six categories, and the grey ratings are the world average.  The number at the top right, is the overall average for that country, and its ranking among 195 countries.

The United States is number one in Health Security, with a score of 83.5.  However, we do not have universal health coverage:  44 million do not have health insurance, and 38 million do not have adequate health insurance.  It’s clear that President Trump and the Congress has to give free medical care to anyone who thinks that they are suffering from the Coronavirus.  Our lowest rating, under Health System of 73.8, is due to a 25.3 score for health access, out of a 100 possible.

China is the largest country with a population of 1.44 billion people, or 18.5% of the world population of 7.76 billion.  It is where the Coronavirus originated, and has by far the largest number of ill people and deaths from it.  It also suffered from a month long bureaucratic delay before taking full scale action on it.

While India is not infected by the Coronavirus, it is close to China in size at 1.38 billion people, and 17.8% of the word’s population.  The US is third in size, with 331 million and 4.26% of the world’s population.  India shares a long Northern border with China.

Overall Health Security Index of the Top Ten Countries by Population in Millions.  The population data is from

No. Country Population Score
1 China 1,439 48.2
2 India 1,380 46.5
3 United States 331 83.5
4 Indonesia 274 56.6
5 Pakistan 221 35.5
6 Nigeria 206 37.8
7 Bangladesh 165 35.0
8 Russia 146 44.3
9 Mexico 129 57.6
10 Japan 126 59.8

Overall Health Security Index for Other Countries of Interest by Population in Millions

No. Country Population Score
17 Turkey 84.3 52.4
18 Iran 84.0 37.7
19 Germany 83.8 66.0
21 UK 67.9 77.9
22 France 65.3 68.2
30 Spain 46.8 65.9
35 Ukraine 43.7 38.0
36 Iraq 40.2 25.8
39 Canada 37.7 75.3
41 Saudi Arabia 34.8 49.3
48 Yemen 29.8 18.5
50 Venezuela 28.4 23.0
54 North Korea 25.8 17.5
68 Syria 17.5 19.9
83 Cuba 11.3 35.2
100 Israel 8.66 47.3


About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in Affairs of State, Congress, Donald Trump, Global Health Security Index, Health Care, Immigration Ban, Iran, Middle East, NATO, North Korea, Russia, State Department, Turkey, Yemen. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply