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The United States lags far behind the 10 healthiest countries in the world.
Each year, the World Economic Forum releases its Global Competitiveness Report on the state of the world’s economies. The WEF compares countries based on analyses of 12 factors, including infrastructure, innovations, and financial systems.
One of the factors the WEF considers in its assessment of a country’s human capital is how healthy citizens are. To measure this, nations are compared based on estimates of how many years a person can expect to be in good health. The WEF calls this healthy life expectancy – a measure that combines mortality numbers with health status data.
According to the 2018 report,which was released Tuesday, the US came in 47th place out of 140 entries when it comes to health.
Americans have a healthy life expectancy of 67.7 years, the report said. But many other nations do better than that. Below are the 16 countries at top of the health ranking.
16. Malta has a long history of quality healthcare. The country, which has moved up in the health ranking since last year (when it came in 23rd), has a healthy life expectancy of 70.9 years.
15. Austria spends about 7% of its GDP on healthcare, according to the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC. The healthy life expectancy there is 70.9 years.
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14. The wealthy nation of Luxembourg has fallen a few spots from last year’s sixth-place ranking. Its healthy life expectancy is currently 71 years.
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13. Costa Rica has the best health services in Latin America, and its healthy life expectancy is 71.2 years. The country rose 23 spots from last year’s ranking.
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12. Canadians take pride in their universal healthcare system, though a recent Canadian Mental Health Association survey found that most citizens believe mental-health services are underfunded. The country’s healthy life expectancy is 71.2 years.
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Source: Vernon Morning Star
11. Israel, which was in 13th place last year, has gone up two spots. The country boasts a healthy life expectancy of 71.4 years.
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10. Iceland has universal healthcare, and very few citizens have private health insurance. Its healthy life expectancy is 71.5 years.
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9. In Norway, children under 16 do not pay for health services. The Scandinavian country spends more per person on healthcare than any other place in the world. The healthy life expectancy is 71.5 years.
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8. Australia rose one spot from last year to claim eighth place. The country has a healthy life expectancy of 71.5 years.
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7. France is famous for the quality of its health services, and it moved into the top 10 this year. The country, which came in 11th place last year, has a healthy life expectancy of 71.7 years.
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6. Many Italians have a high quality of life thanks to the country’s healthcare policies. The healthy life expectancy there is 71.8 years.
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5. Switzerland has universal healthcare services too; citizens are required to hold health insurance. The healthy life expectancy is 71.9 years.
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1. Four countries are tied for first place this year. Japan, one of those four, has a healthy life expectancy of 73.2 years.
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1. Hong Kong, home to just over 7.3 million people, is also at the top of the ranking, though the report didn’t list its specific healthy life expectancy. As of last year, Hong Kong had the highest life expectancy in the world: the average lifespan for women was 87.32 years, and 81.24 years for men.
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Source: South China Morning Post
1. Spain spends about 10% of its GDP on healthcare, according to estimates from Expatica, an online guide for expats. The country has a healthy life expectancy of 72.6 years.
1. Singapore is the second small city-state to make the top of the rankings. Its healthy life expectancy is 73.6 years.
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