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Spain tops global ranking of healthiest countries in latest Bloomberg analysis

The Mediterranean diet is seen as a key reason.
The Mediterranean diet is seen as a key reason. / SUR
  • The report places the UK in 19th place, Ireland on 20th and the US drops to 35th because of drug abuse and suicide

It's something that a lot of expats have been telling friends back home for years. Spain is the healthiest country in the world, with a mark of 92.7 out of 100 according to the latest Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index. The country has risen six places since results were last published two years ago.

Government promotion agency, España Global, has commented on the Bloomberg analysis, which looked at different data impacting quality of life in 169 countries, such as eating habits, healthcare, life expectancy, tobacco use, obesity and the environment, among others.

Minister for the España Global campaign, Irene Lozano, said Spain's rise up the ranking was "spectacular".

Besides Spain, in the top ten are Italy, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Singapore, Norway and Israel.

Analysts have said that the Spanish public health system stood out for "the special attention paid to growing children, women and older people, which has succeeded in bringing down heart disease and cancer", according to Bloomberg. Spain's longest life expectancy, the third in the world after Japan and Switzerland, is also highlighted. By 2040, the country is expected to have an average life expectancy of 86 years, the highest in the world.

Olive oil

In terms of eating habits, Bloomberg reports positively on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, especially the role of olive oil and nuts in reducing cardiovascular problems.

As for other countries, the UK was ranked 19th, Ireland 20th, Germany 23rd and Belgium 28th. The USA was ranked at 35th, hit by early deaths due to drug use and suicide, suggest analysts. At the bottom of the list were sub-Saharan countries, Haiti, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Data from bloomberg.com