Life expectancy is perhaps the best way to measure the health of a nation. However, it is necessary to look at a range of indicators to begin to truly understand the complex picture of a national population’s health.
Healthcare spending and the availability of resources are also major determining factors of national health. Of course, high spending does not guarantee strong health outcomes. Annual health spending in the United States totalled $8,895 per capita, more than the spending of all but two other countries reviewed. However, the health of U.S. residents was rated worse than 33 other nations.
The Legatum Institute, a London-based research institute a carried out a huge survey that ranked the most prosperous countries in the world. According to the survey, health is measured by three key components:
A country’s basic mental and physical health, health infrastructure, availability of preventative care. One of the most significant components when ranking is how healthy a country’s people are.
Here are top 16 countries as ranked by the survey:
- Luxembourg — Nestled between Belgium, France, and Germany, the wealthy nation of Luxembourg tops the Legatum Institute’s health sub-index.
- Singapore — Singapore’s 5.6 million citizens, have an average life expectancy of 83.1 years.
- Switzerland —Their healthcare service is universal and is based upon the mandatory holding of health insurance by all citizens.
- Japan — The country’s life expectancy of 83.7 years is the highest on the planet. That has caused demographic issues in the country, with its population ageing rapidly.
- The Netherlands — In 2015 the Netherlands gained the number one spot at the top of the annual Euro health consumer index, which compares healthcare systems in Europe, scoring 916 out of a maximum 1,000 points
- Sweden — as with most quality of life and health rankings, northern European countries like Sweden score highly. Swedish men have the 4th highest life expectancy of any nation, living for an average of 80.7 years.
- Hong Kong — The tiny city-state of Hong Kong has 11 private and 42 public hospitals to serve its population of just over 7.2 million people.
- Australia — With great weather and low pollution, it is not surprising that Australia is ranked as one of the world’s healthiest nations.
- Germany — Their average life expectancy is 81 years.
- Israel — They have one of the highest life expectancy ratings on the planet at 82.5 years.
- Belgium — They have universal health care, but citizens also require mandatory health insurance.
- New Zealand — One of the most active countries in the world. Their citizens have an average life expectancy of 81.6 years.
- Norway — the country’s healthcare system is free for children under 16, but adults must pay for services. They spend more per person on healthcare than any other country on earth.
- France – the country’s average life expectancy is 82.
- Qatar – the nation has recently taken steps to implement a universal health care system across the entire country.
- Canada – They provide free at the point of access healthcare, known as Medicare.
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