According to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, Spain is the healthiest country in the world.
The European country jumped six places from 2017, due to its high global life expectancy in 2040—showing that the Iberian nation is leading the way in both quality of life and longevity.
Environmental factors also caused the country to rise to the top, like access to clean water and sanitation, as well as a lack of tobacco use and obesity. Their focus on a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes local fruits, vegetables, oils, and fish, is also touted as a reason.
Following Spain is Italy. The island of Sardinia in Italy – which has almost 10 times more centenarians per capita than the United States – also follows a Mediterranean diet and encourages an active, outdoor lifestyle with its mild climate.
Four additional European nations were among the top 10 in 2019: Iceland (third place), Switzerland (fifth), Sweden (sixth) and Norway (ninth).
Japan was the healthiest Asian 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.
The Index ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health.
It grades nations based on variables including life expectancy while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity. It also takes into consideration environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation.
Ireland takes 20th place just after the UK – with a health grade of 84.06/100. The US ranks 35th with a score of 73.02.