Literally dying to live a long life? Want to find that fountain of youth to stretch it out over as many years as possible? Well, you might want to consider moving to one of the countries described below. 24/7 Wall Street has made a list of the ten countries where people live the longest. The United States is not even in the top ten.
Here are the top five countries.
- Life expectancy: 82.8
- GDP per capita: $51,227 (2nd highest)
- Health spending per capita: $5,643 (3rd highest)
- Pct. of adults reporting good health: 81.3 (7th highest)
Switzerland had the world’s longest life expectancy at birth at nearly 83 years as of 2011 — 10 years longer than it was in 1970. Switzerland’s health care expenditure totalled $5,643 per person, the third highest out of countries measured by the OECD. Resident’s out of pocket expenditures accounted for 3.8% of household income, more than in all but 6 OECD nations. Although the Alpine country is hardly alone in providing residents with universal coverage, Switzerland’s system has frequently been compared to the Affordable Care Act because it requires residents to purchase private health insurance. Swiss residents are quite healthy, with lower cerebrovascular and cancer mortality rates than nearly all other nations measured by the OECD.
- Life expectancy: 82.7
- GDP per capita: $32,648 (19th highest)
- Health spending per capita: $3,012 (20th lowest)
- Pct. of adults reporting good health: 64.7 (11th lowest)
Italian health care spending totaled just over $3,000 per capita in 2011, lower than many nations measured by the OECD. There were more than four doctors per 1,000 residents in 2011, more than the OECD average of 3.16 per 1,000 and the highest measured. Although smoking rates in Italy did not drop as dramatically in recent years as in other countries, alcohol consumption fell and just 10% of adults were obese, compared with an adult obesity rate of 17.6% across the OECD. The country has also had to deal with the changing dietary habits of its residents who consume much less than before the “Mediterranean diet” — a diet that emphasized fruits, vegetables, and olive oil and is often regarded as very healthy.
- Life expectancy: 82.7
- GDP per capita: $33,843 (17th highest)
- Health spending per capita: $3,213 (18th highest)
- Pct. of adults reporting good health: 30 (the lowest)
Although life expectancy at birth in Japan was tied with Italy for second-highest out of all nations measured by the OECD, Japanese women were expected to have the longest lives when compared to women in all the other countries measured. Japan also had the largest elderly population as of 2010. That year, 23% of the population was at least 65 years old, while 6.4% was at least 80 years old, both the most of any country the OECD reviewed. These numbers are expected to jump substantially to 38.8% and 16.5%, respectively, by 2050. Japan’s population is quite healthy by several measures. Mortality due to heart disease occurred just 39 times per 100,000 people, lower than in any other country and more than three times better than the U.S. Just 4.1% of Japanese adults were obese in 2011, versus 36.5% in the U.S.
- Life expectancy: 82.4
- GDP per capita: $36,611 (14th highest)
- Health spending per capita: $3,305 (17th highest)
- Pct. of adults reporting good health: 77.8 (9th highest)
Among Icelandic men, life-expectancy at birth was over 80 years in 2011, the highest compared with men in all other countries reviewed by the OECD. Women in Iceland, however, were expected to live 84 years, only eighth highest out of the 40 nations measured. Only 14.3% of Iceland’s population were daily smokers as of 2011, less than all but three other countries reviewed. Alcohol consumption in 1990 was low compared with most European countries. Eighteen later, alcohol consumption was still relatively low, at just over seven liters per person, less than most other developed nations. However, Icelanders’ alcohol consumption had increased by 40%, more than almost every country surveyed by the OECD. Among Icelandic adults between the ages of 20 and 80 years, just over 3% were estimated to have had diabetes in 2011, the lowest proportion of any country reviewed and considerably better than the U.S.’s 9.8% rate.
- Life expectancy: 82.4
- GDP per capita: $33,045 (18th highest)
- Health spending per capita: $3,072 (20th highest)
- Pct. of adults reporting good health: 75.3 (13th highest)
The life expectancy of a Spanish child born in 2011 was 82.4 years. The country’s mortality rates from cancer, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease were all lower than the OECD averages. Spain had just 3.2 hospital beds per 1,000 residents in 2011, versus 4.8 on average for the OECD and 13.4 beds per 1,000 residents in Japan. Spain’s population is expected to age in the coming decades, and in 2050 more than 36% are expected to be senior citizens, the highest proportion of any nation in Europe.