All countries aren’t created equal, and there are a variety of factors that contribute to healthy, happy countries – as well as factors that contribute to unhealthy countries. Typically, the healthiest countries are those that are developed. These countries have lower rates of pollution, access to quality health care, and access to clean, safe drinking water. Unhealthy countries, on the other hand, do not have access to clean drinking water or any type of health care. Diseases run rampant. Pollution may be high, leading to health problems, illnesses and death. The life expectancy of the residents of these countries is low, and infant mortality is high. Quality of life is dramatically lower than in the more developed countries.
The Bloomberg Global Health Index takes a look at several of these factors to rank the healthiest (and unhealthiest) countries in the world. The factors that are used to rank the countries include:
- Health risks (tobacco use, high blood pressure, obesity)
- Availability of clean water
- Life expectancy
- Causes of death
Using these factors, each country is given a rating out of a top score of 100. During the last ranking in 2017, Italy scored the highest and was deemed the healthiest country in the world. The nation scored over 93 points with a life expectancy over 80 years.
Other countries that ranked high for health include Iceland, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia. Factors including outdoor activities and exercise, high-quality health care and healthy diets are just a few of the things that contribute to these nations’ healthier lifestyles and higher life expectancies.
The top 25 healthiest countries according to the Bloomberg Global Health Index are listed below in the order they were ranked.