No one has found the elixir of youth yet, but certainly some people have found ways to thrive well into their golden years. Universally, it seems that women live longer than men due to biological and cultural reasons. From studies collated from the World Health Organization and the UN Human Development, let’s look at the top 10 countries with the highest life expectancy in the world.
List of Countries with the highest life expectancy in the world
1. Hong Kong
The country with the highest life expectancy in the world is Hong Kong at 84.63 years, which comes as a surprise to most people due to the fact there is serious air pollution here as it is one of the most crowded places on Earth. Studies say that it can be attributed to the kind of lifestyle that most average Hong Kong citizens practice such as drinking lots of herbal teas and doing daily exercises and martial arts. The prime health care provided by the government also contributed a lot to the longevity of its residents. The women enjoy a longer life with 87.6 years as compared to the men’s 81.8 years.
The Japanese has instilled discipline in their young, and it is the fundamental reason why it is the second country in the world with the highest life expectancy. The average Japanese lives until the age of 84.5 and it is mostly attributed to the “Ikigai” upbringing, which means learning a person’s “reason for living.” Discovering someone’s passion would result to having a reason to wake up each day with vigor. They also maintain a balanced diet of nutritious food such as tofu, rice, fish, and vegetables. Drinking green tea without sweetener regularly helps in getting rid of toxins in the body. The men have a shorter life span with 81.3 years as compared to the women with 87.5 years.
The high average life expectancy of 83.6 years in Switzerland is quite exceptional (To know more facts about this country, visit the Interesting Facts about Switzerland Page!) The Swiss have around 95% chance to reach the age of 81 and about 28% to live up to the age of 85. Aside from practicing a well-balanced diet of having only 20% of lean meat, 40% vegetables, and 40% carbs, the Swiss nature of being always on the neutral side of any conflict has provided a stress-free lifestyle. Generally, its citizens are financially comfortable; therefore, getting the right health care can be accessed easily whenever a medical problem occurs.
Singapore has an excellent health care system as seen in the government’s handling of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic crisis. It is of no surprise at all that it is the fourth country with the highest life expectancy rate with 85.2 years. The economic progression that it displayed for the last three decades can contribute to the longevity rate. It is also in the Singaporean culture to give importance to the senior citizens in their community and that helps in making them feel highly valued. Age is not a factor when hiring people for work there. One can find older people working in many establishments that are mostly given to younger people in other countries. They have a very active community of senior citizens. To know more facts about this country, visit Singapore Facts Page!
The life expectancy rate in Italy continues to go up in the past decade, and it is now 83.57 years making it the fifth highest in the world and only second to Switzerland in Europe. However, while it is true that in the more urbanized part of Italy, the longevity rate is rising, there is some part of the country, albeit a small one, where people are living in total poverty. When one is having financial difficulties, there is no other choice but to veer to unhealthy lifestyle and that would also mean no easy access to proper health care. It still ranked at number five on the list because generally, the Italians love their Mediterranean diet, which is composed of fish, vegetables, and fruits. Using olive oil when cooking and drinking a couple of glasses of wine daily, helps a lot in keeping a healthier lifestyle.
Another European country makes the list of countries with highest life expectancy rate; Spain comes at sixth place with an average life span of 83.4 years. The women enjoy a longer life span with 86.1 years and the men with 80.7 years. Just like the Italians, the Spaniards are also into the Mediterranean diet. Aside from the healthy choice of food, their culture also helped their citizens to live a longer life such as the afternoon naps or what the locals call “siestas” that they take every day. The close family ties also uplift the spirit as they moved as one whether to take care of a problem or celebrate someone’s good fortune.
The Australians proved that nature is the ultimate elixir of having a longer life span with a life expectancy rate of 83.3 years. Studies say that being around nature is even better than working out in the gym. Around 70% of the country is filled with grasslands, trees, and woodlands, which makes one breathe cleaner air. Walking around is not a chore for Aussies because it comes naturally when living in such an environment. Australia made the list also because of its top-notch health care system.
Some of the longest living people are in Iceland making it the 8th country with the highest life expectancy. Average Icelanders can live up to 82.9 years although the women are expected to live two years longer than the men. The simplicity of life in Iceland and having a balanced diet of fresh seafood, milk, organic vegetables, and meat are just some of the reasons why they have this lifespan rate. Soaking in medicinal hot springs helped achieve healthier bodies. A low crime rate makes the country one of the happiest places on Earth, and with this kind of environment, the Icelanders would surely live longer lives than most.
Israel’s life expectancy rate of 82.8 years is quite impressive given that it is always involved in international conflict unlike Switzerland. The government even requires mandatory military service from its citizens that one might think it is a stressful place to live in, but surprisingly, Israel made it to the 9th place of countries with highest life expectancy. Studies show that the Israelis’ Mediterranean diet, warm weather, strong family values, and spiritual faith have contributed to their endurance and vitality.
10. South Korea
The average people from South Korea are expected to reach the age of 82.8 years. The country has an incredible obsession with fermented vegetables called Kimchi that is always present on the dining table whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This love for vegetables is one of the reasons why they have low obesity rates. The country also has low smoking rate that translates to its citizens having rare chances of getting second-hand smoke. A healthy lifestyle combined with an excellent healthcare system for all, not just for the rich, will result to longer lives for the South Koreans. The women get to live five years longer than the men.
Upon comparing the countries’ life expectancy rates, the most common denominators are exemplary healthcare system, well-balanced diet, and excellent financial capability. These three factors contribute to extending the life spans of its citizens.
I hope that this article on countries with highest life expectancy was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Rankings Page!