Spain has surpassed Italy to be named as the world’s healthiest nation, a new survey reveals.
The 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, which ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health, has seen Spain rise from sixth in 2017 to top of the rankings this year.
The report found that Spain currently has the highest life expectancy at birth among European Union nations, and trails only Japan and Switzerland globally. However, by 2040 the country is forecast to have the highest lifespan, at almost 86 years.
The country’s famed Mediterranean diet is highlighted as one of the main reasons behind Spain’s healthy lifestyle, with natives tending to eat a far less-fat diet than those in other countries. The climate and a strong primary healthcare system were other factors behind Spain’s top ranking.
Italy – another country where Mediterranean diets are prevalent – has slipped one place in the rankings to second.
Four additional European nations were among the top 10: Iceland (third place), Switzerland (fifth), Sweden (sixth) and Norway (ninth). Japan was the healthiest non-European nation, jumping three places from the 2017 survey into fourth and replacing Singapore, which dropped to eighth. Australia and Israel rounded out the top 10 at seventh and 10th place respectively.
Elsewhere, Canada was in 17th place, New Zealand ranked 18th, the UK 19th, Ireland 20th. while the United States was 35th.
Article published 7th March 2019