It’s official: Spain is now considered the healthiest country in the world.
According to a study of 169 nations released last month, Spain now ranks at the top of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index with 92.7 points out of 100.
There’s a range of reasons: public health care, the Mediterranean diet, life expectancy, smoking habits, lower rates of obesity, environmental conditions, and access to safe drinking water.
Spain also has a higher life expectancy for newborns, and life expectancy is 83 years old.
"Primary care is essentially provided by public providers, specialised family doctors and staff nurses, who provide preventive services to children, women and elderly patients, and acute and chronic care," according to the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies 2018 review of Spain, noting a decline the past decade in cardiovascular diseases and deaths from cancer, according to EL PAÍS.
Spain — with its Mediterranean diet and high life expectancy — is the world's healthiest country, according to the Bloomberg 2019 Healthiest Country Index. pic.twitter.com/DRZ5wq6bsb— Catedra Metropol (@CatedraMetropol) March 2, 2019
Researchers also believe that the secret is the local diet: “A Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than those assigned to a reduced-fat diet, according to a study led by the University of Navarre Medical School,” the Bloomberg Index stated.
The other top countries in the ranking include Italy (second), Iceland (third), and Japan (fourth).
Globally, in North America, Canada ranks 16th, the United States ranks 35th, and Mexico ranks 53rd. In the United States, life expectancy dropped because of the opioid crisis and overdose deaths. Cuba is five spots above the United States and the only nation that high in the ranking that is not classified as “high income” by the World Bank.
In Latin America, Chile and Costa Rica are among the healthiest countries, while in Asia, Japan and South Korea are the leaders.
The unhealthiest nations in the ranking, meanwhile, are sub-Saharan economies, as well as Haiti, Afganistán and Yemen.
You can find the top 10 rankings below, and more about the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index here.
The Top 10 Healthiest Countries in the World