Considering living in one of the healthiest countries or cities?

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In previous blog article on mental wellness, we talked about the top 10 happiest countries in 2021/2022. These countries ranked according to the happiness index are:


2. Denmark

3. Switzerland

4. Iceland

5. Netherlands

6. Norway

7. Sweden

8. Luxembourg

9. New Zealand

10. Austria

Connecting with friends for mental wellness

Our Blue Zones blog article also shared about the 5 places that have (or used to have) the highest number of centenarians. These places famous for their longevity include:

1. Okinawa, Japan

2. Sardinia, Italy

3. Loma Linda, United States

4. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

5. Ikaria, Greece

5 places of Blue Zones

In this article, we will look at the top 20 healthiest countries and top 10 healthiest cities in the world ranked by 2 indexes, namely Bloomberg Global Health Index and Money UK Index. Perhaps you may consider living in one of these countries for your retirement.


Key factors that determine the healthiness index

The 2 indexes used to compute the healthiness levels are analysing very different set of metrics. Bloomberg Global Health Index focuses on factors that have direct health impact, while the Money UK Index take into consideration the conscientiousness and mental well-being.


Bloomberg Global Health Index

This index compared the common health-related factors such as health risks (use of tobacco, hypertension, obesity), availability of clean water, life expectancy, malnutrition, causes of death, and so forth.


Money UK Index

This index analysed a wider scope of factors that include obesity, life expectancy, crime rate, pollution, healthcare standard, safety score, yearly sunlight hours and a series of mental health factors to derive the healthiness index for the ranking.


Top 20 healthiest countries

Even though some countries appear in both lists (Figure 1), they are ranked based on different healthiness parameters.

Healthiest Countries
Figure 1: List of healthiest countries based on 2 indexes.

Top 10 healthiest cities

Apart from the healthiest countries, the Money UK Index 2022 also listed the top 10 cities that scored high in the healthiness index (Figure 2).

Top 10 healthiest cities
Figure 2: Top 10 healthiest cities in 2022.

What are the unique features of these countries?

After seeing the lists, you may be curious what are the factors that contribute to the overall health and life expectancy in these countries. Below are some (but not all) examples for your reference.

  1. Spain
    Spanish eat Mediterranean diet in small serving, they enjoy sociable meal times, and prefer walking as a mode of transportation.
  2. Japan
    Japan has the lowest rate of obesity and highest life expectancy. Japanese also eat small serving and low-fat, high-protein diet. They exercise regularly to maintain fitness and good mood.
  3. Italy
    Italy has a low obesity rate as Italian eat Mediterranean diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meat, legumes, fresh fish, and olive oil. 
  4. Switzerland
    Switzerland has the best healthcare system and highest life expectancy. Due to its geographical features, Switzerland has very clean water and no pollution. The crime rates are low, and Swiss people enjoy work-life balance.
  5. Finland
    Finland is the happiest country in the world. Finns consume diet high in fish. In recent years, vegetarian food has also gain huge popularity. 


Comparing the lists, you will find that some of the Blue Zones places are listed in the healthiest countries, but none appear in the healthiest cities list. This is because many places of Blue Zones are no longer having the most centenarians due to modernisation and the influence of unhealthy diets and lifestyles.


Unlike the Blue Zones, where you can copy and replicate the diets and lifestyles to achieve better health and longevity; Many factors, as shown in the Money UK Indexare beyond your control, for example, air pollution, clean water, crime rate, sunlight hours, etc. All these are still important and can influence the overall health level of the countries.


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