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Countries with the best life expectancy

Countries with the best life expectancy
1/Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

Countries with the best life expectancy

People live notably longer in some parts of the world, and research suggests that diet, climate, social class, and overall happiness play a significant role in boosting lifespan.

While Japan has been at the top of the life expectancy list for several years, research published in October 2018 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggests that Spain may overtake Japan's life expectancy by 2040. Analysis from Bloomberg's 2019 Healthiest Country Index also revealed Spain to be #1 out of 169 countries in terms of factors contributing to overall health.

After analyzing life expectancy data from the World Health Organization's World Health Statistics 2019 report and total population data for each country from the United Nations' World Population Prospects 2019 report, Stacker ranked each country by life expectancy. In the event of a tie, countries with lower under-five mortality rates were favored.

WHO's annual report compiles life expectancy data and health-related sustainable development goals to determine life spans in each country. In total, 194 countries were included in WHO's 2019 report, but only 181 of these countries were ranked and analyzed since 13 had no life expectancy data.

The total population for each country was taken from the United Nations' Population Division—World Population Prospects 2019. The report released in 2019 involves data from 2016. However, data concerning the percent of government spending going to public health come from 2014, data involving maternal mortality ratios come from 2015, and data involving under-five mortality rates come from 2017.

While no countries on this list have reached supercentenarian status in terms of life expectancy, many nations seem to be getting closer to seeing more of their citizens live to 100 years old.

Click through to find out more about the top 50 countries with the best life expectancy.

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#50. Albania
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#50. Albania

- Life expectancy: 76.4 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 8.8 (#123 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 29 (#111 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 15.8 (#113 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 68 (#91 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 9.4% (#121 highest)
- Total population: 2.89 million

As the very last country on the list, Albania remains vulnerable to lower life expectancy, with air pollution cutting up to 1.3 years off the lives of its citizens, according to a U.N. report. However, the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection governs the country's health care services, which offer equal access to all citizens regardless of their socioeconomic status. Additionally, the World Bank reports that the country's development in the past three decades has provided more sustainable resources for healthy living.

#49. Ecuador
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#49. Ecuador

- Life expectancy: 76.5 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 14.5 (#102 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 64 (#84 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 31.4 (#53 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 25 (#147 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 10.2% (#106 highest)
- Total population: 16.49 million

Since 1990, the lifespan of women has slowly usurped that of men, with women living on average four years longer than men. The Pan American Health Organization reports that the country's National Plan for Good Living has many health policies and objectives that may increase life expectancy.

#48. Mexico
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#48. Mexico

- Life expectancy: 76.6 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 13.4 (#107 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 38 (#103 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 15.8 (#112 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 37 (#131 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 11.6% (#86 highest)
- Total population: 123.33 million

The Borgen Project reports 10 facts about Mexico's life expectancy, including the fact that citizens are likely to live to 79 by 2050. The longer life expectancy south of the border is directly related to the Seguro Popular, a new health-care system. Before the start of the program, initiated by the World Bank in 2004, only half of Mexicans had health care.

 

#47. Montenegro
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#47. Montenegro

- Life expectancy: 76.8 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.5 (#165 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 7 (#155 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 10.1 (#132 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 79 (#79 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 9.8% (#114 highest)
- Total population: 627,000

The Balkan country's efforts to curb obesity with positive food marketing campaigns for children is helping Montenegro youth live longer. Additionally, as one of Europe's fastest-growing economies, precisely because of the country's famous mountain and coastal tourism, Montenegro is making more money to further develop services for citizens to stay healthy and live longer. Clean drinking water, immunizations, and the 2003 launch of “Health Care for All in the XXI Century” have also aided in the country's long life expectancy.

#46. Argentina
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#46. Argentina

- Life expectancy: 76.9 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 10.4 (#117 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 52 (#92 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 17.5 (#106 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 27 (#143 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 6.9% (#147 highest)
- Total population: 43.51 million

The South American country has a distinct dichotomy in health among its regions, with children from the Tierra del Fuego region living at least four years longer than a Chaco child. The Pan American Health Organization details while the country's health-care expenditure is above the regional average, “a human development agenda must be established to overcome the social determinants associated with poverty,” which significantly affect life expectancy.

#45. Oman
7/muzn alabri // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Oman

- Life expectancy: 77 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 11.3 (#114 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 17 (#127 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 32.0 (#50 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 54 (#109 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 6.8% (#151 highest)
- Total population: 4.48 million

Greater access to medical offices and hospitals has extended the life of Omanis more than 25 years in four decades, according to the Oxford Business Group. In 1970, citizens of the Arab country only lived to 49.3 years with Oman maintaining two hospitals, and by 2016, life expectancy reached 76 with the region sustaining 69 hospitals.

#44. Uruguay
8/Ksenia Ragozina // Shutterstock

#44. Uruguay

- Life expectancy: 77.1 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 8.2 (#126 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 15 (#131 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 17.1 (#107 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 18 (#157 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 20.8% (#9 highest)
- Total population: 3.42 million

The United Nations Children's Fund confirms that the maternal mortality ratio declined by 44% from 1990 to 2015, which added to Uruguayans' life expectancy over 25 years. The country's under-five mortality rate had also seen a significant decline from 23 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 8.2 per 1,000 live births in 2017.

#43. United Arab Emirates
9/NEZAR BALOUT/AFP // Getty Images

#43. United Arab Emirates

- Life expectancy: 77.2 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 9.1 (#121 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 6 (#160 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 16.5 (#109 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 55 (#107 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 8.7% (#129 highest)
- Total population: 9.36 million

The WHO reports several factors are keeping the United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens healthier, including implementing a soft drink tax to screening for noncommunicable diseases. Additionally, Vision 2021, a government health plan to reduce lifestyle-related infections and national funded healthcare have UAE residents living just past 77 years old.

#42. Bosnia and Herzegovina
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#42. Bosnia and Herzegovina

- Life expectancy: 77.3 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 5.7 (#142 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 11 (#138 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 16.3 (#110 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 80 (#77 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 14.1% (#51 highest)
- Total population: 3.39 million

Like many countries listed, life expectancy by gender differs in the region, with women in Bosnia and Herzegovina living on average up to 79.56 years and men to 74.55 in 2017. The country on the Balkan Peninsula also sees longer lives due to the deep decline in maternal mortality rates from 1990 to 2015.

#41. Slovakia
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#41. Slovakia

- Life expectancy: 77.4 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 5.6 (#144 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 6 (#160 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 7.7 (#147 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 34 (#135 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 15% (#39 highest)
- Total population: 5.44 million

Though the landlocked region has a 77.4-year life expectancy, growing more than three years between 2000 and 2015, it is shorter than other European Union countries by four years, according to the Slovak Spectator. A large portion of life expectancy gains in the last 19 years is due to the decline in mortality rates for residents older than 65. The leading cause of death in Slovakia regardless of life expectancy is cardiovascular disease.

#40. Poland
12/PIOTR NOWAK/AFP // Getty Images

#40. Poland

- Life expectancy: 77.8 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 4.7 (#149 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 3 (#176 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 10.3 (#130 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 38 (#129 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 10.7% (#102 highest)
- Total population: 37.99 million

A 2015 study published in the journal Inquiry details how Poland's life expectancy has dramatically changed in 20 years directly because of “political and socioeconomic transformation in the region that started in 1989.” Furthermore, advances in the diagnostic test for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in Poland, is a primary reason for reduced deaths directly due to acute coronary syndromes.

#39. Estonia
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#39. Estonia

- Life expectancy: 77.8 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.7 (#174 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 9 (#146 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 6.7 (#152 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 25 (#147 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 13.5% (#60 highest)
- Total population: 1.32 million

Along with having a social-insurance program for all citizens, being happy may be keeping Estonians alive for longer. Furthermore, life expectancy disparities between women and men are declining, with Estonian World reporting the difference was 12 years in 1994, more than 10 years by 2008, and 8.6 by 2017.

#38. Panama
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#38. Panama

- Life expectancy: 78 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 16.1 (#94 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 94 (#73 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 16.2 (#111 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 26 (#144 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 14.6% (#43 highest)
- Total population: 4.04 million

Panama residents are living longer than they did almost a decade ago, when HIV/AIDS, cerebrovascular disease, and ischemic heart disease were the leading causes of death, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. What changed? Happiness may be one contributing factor, according to The Guardian, reporting that strong Panamanian family bonds and a thriving economy keep the country that links South and North America together happy and healthy.

#37. Qatar
15/MARWAN NAAMANI //AFP // Getty Images

#37. Qatar

- Life expectancy: 78.1 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 7.6 (#132 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 13 (#135 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 13.6 (#119 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 47 (#119 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 5.8% (#160 highest)
- Total population: 2.65 million

As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Qatar's financial situation may be a contributing factor to its citizen's longevity. The high standard of living, which includes eating healthy and exercising, is expected in the peninsula Arab country that carries a per capita income of $134,620. Additionally, the desert climate with mild winters may also contribute to longer life expectancy, according to a Stanford University study on the health benefits of warm weather.

#36. Croatia
16/Silverije // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Croatia

- Life expectancy: 78.3 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 4.6 (#150 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 8 (#151 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 8.9 (#141 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 35 (#133 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 14% (#52 highest)
- Total population: 4.21 million

A universal health-care system is one reason why Croatians are living past 78 years old. Another factor is the country comes in 31 out of 56 on Bloomberg's Healthiest Country Index. Healthy eating habits, clean water, and adequate sanitation are some key factors that keep Croatians living long, according to Bloomberg.

#35. Maldives
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#35. Maldives

- Life expectancy: 78.4 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 7.9 (#128 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 68 (#81 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 5.6 (#161 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 26 (#144 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 26.6% (#1 highest)
- Total population: 476,000

Of all countries, the residents of Maldives have the most significant increase in life expectancy from birth over the last 59 years, according to The Borgen Project. Based on World Bank data, life expectancy rose from 37 years in 1960 to 77 years in 2016. Some reasons why the tropical South Asia residents are living longer include investment in health initiatives, better water quality, a decline in infectious diseases, and a drop in mortality rates for children under five years old.

#34. United States of America
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#34. United States of America

- Life expectancy: 78.5 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 6.6 (#140 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 14 (#134 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 14.1 (#118 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 13 (#165 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 21.3% (#6 highest)
- Total population: 323.02 million

Socioeconomic status significantly affects life expectancy in the U.S., with wealthier people living longer. While America comes in at 34 among 50 countries for the best life expectancy, residing in certain parts of the nation can add years to American lives, according to a 2016 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. However, life expectancy as a whole in America has declined due to substance abuse and alcoholism.

#33. Cuba
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#33. Cuba

- Life expectancy: 79 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 5.4 (#145 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 39 (#102 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 8.1 (#143 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 50 (#113 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 18% (#17 highest)
- Total population: 11.34 million

The island of Cuba has made life expectancy news as of late, with the South China Morning Post reporting that 2,070 centurions are alive and well in the country. A few reasons the Republic of Cuba citizens are living longer are free health care and the “120 Club,” a faction that aspires to live that long. According to Dr. Raul Rodriguez, president of the club, humans can live up to 125 years old.

#32. Bahrain
20/Manu M Nair // Shutterstock

#32. Bahrain

- Life expectancy: 79.1 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 7.3 (#138 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 15 (#131 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 9.5 (#138 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 40 (#126 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 10.5% (#104 highest)
- Total population: 1.43 million

As one of the world's wealthiest countries, Bahrain's wealth keeps its citizens living longer, with its excellent medical and lifestyle services. A report by USA Today reveals that having a life expectancy above 72 years is "a common characteristic of the wealthiest nations."

#31. Czechia
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#31. Czechia

- Life expectancy: 79.2 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.3 (#169 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 4 (#170 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 5.8 (#160 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 30 (#138 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 14.9% (#40 highest)
- Total population: 10.62 million

A highly regarded health care system helps Czech citizens live to almost 80 years on average in the country that sustains political and economic stability. Add in the lifestyle habits many Czechs live by—including drinking tea, walking far distances, eating light dinners, and relaxing more—and it is clear why the people in this Central European country live longer.

#30. Chile
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#30. Chile

- Life expectancy: 79.5 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 7.4 (#135 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 22 (#124 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 13.3 (#121 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 25 (#147 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 15.9% (#29 highest)
- Total population: 18.21 million

Access to quality health care for all its citizens has Chile rated as the happiest people in South America by the U.N. Chile is among the leaders on the continent in economic and political stability. While two-thirds of Chileans over 15 are considered overweight, the government has begun putting stop signs on packaged foods to curb obesity.

#29. Costa Rica
23/Simon King // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Costa Rica

- Life expectancy: 79.6 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 9 (#122 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 25 (#116 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 19.1 (#98 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 23 (#151 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 23.3% (#4 highest)
- Total population: 4.9 million

It is known as “Pure Life” people, Costa Ricans rank as one of the happiest on earth, which helps them live longer than others. The rainforested region is so peaceful and pure more than 20,000 Americans are retiring in the Central American country to enjoy peace, clean drinking water, good health care, and a year-round tropical climate—all of which lead to a longer life.

#28. Cyprus
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#28. Cyprus

- Life expectancy: 80.7 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.7 (#174 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 7 (#155 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 6.7 (#153 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 20 (#153 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 7.6% (#141 highest)
- Total population: 1.17 million

A small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has seen its overall life expectancy climb by three years in the decade leading up to 2016. Despite only 20 deaths per 100,000 people caused by air pollution, Cyprus has lagged in reaching its environmental goals for the coming decades. With one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, Cyprus also has one of the lowest under-five mortality rates among the countries studied.

#27. Slovenia
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#27. Slovenia

- Life expectancy: 80.9 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.1 (#180 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 9 (#146 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 6.2 (#157 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 23 (#151 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 12.8% (#70 highest)
- Total population: 2.07 million

Slovenia was ranked alongside Norway as the best place in Europe to raise a child in 2017 by Save the Children. Children's health services are free, and mandatory healthcare for all residents is paid for through taxes on businesses and workers. Once part of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia has made fast gains in life expectancy since 1997, with lower mortality from circulatory diseases credited as the driving factor behind the increase.

#26. Germany
26/JENS KALAENE/AFP // Getty Images

#26. Germany

- Life expectancy: 81 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.7 (#160 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 6 (#160 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 4.2 (#166 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 16 (#158 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 19.7% (#11 highest)
- Total population: 82.19 million

Germany ranks in the bottom half among countries in the European Union for life expectancy, with external factors like obesity and smoking preventing it from being much further up the list. The gap between life expectancy following the unification of East and West Germany in 1990 has thinned thanks to the resulting economic development and advancements in medicine. Low unemployment and a strong economy have Germans among the happiest people in the EU.

#25. Greece
27/Stock Studio // Shutterstock

#25. Greece

- Life expectancy: 81.2 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 5.3 (#146 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 3 (#176 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 9.7 (#135 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 28 (#142 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 10% (#111 highest)
- Total population: 10.62 million

Greeks are among the healthiest people in the world, thanks to the Mediterranean climate and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Greece's health-care system took a hit during the financial crisis of 2010 but has been able to sustain low infant and maternal mortality rates.

#24. Denmark
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#24. Denmark

- Life expectancy: 81.2 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 4.3 (#152 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 6 (#160 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3.4 (#174 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 13 (#165 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 16.8% (#23 highest)
- Total population: 5.71 million

Denmark is among the highest-spending countries on public health, but the result has been one of the top health-care systems in the world. The government provides every Danish citizen's health care, which may contribute to its citizen's happiness. Fundamental changes in the late 1990s also put a focus on preventative care.

#23. Belgium
29/Ajay Suresh // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Belgium

- Life expectancy: 81.2 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.8 (#159 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 7 (#155 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 7.1 (#151 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 16 (#158 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 15.1% (#36 highest)
- Total population: 11.35 million

As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with healthy lifestyle resources readily available, Belgium citizens enjoy long lives. Additionally, the age-adjusted overall mortality rate in Belgium dropped over 15 years by 19%, and the premature mortality rate fell by 22% from 2001 to 2015.

#22. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
30/Christopher Furlong // Getty Images

#22. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

- Life expectancy: 81.4 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 4.3 (#152 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 9 (#146 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3.1 (#177 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 14 (#163 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 16.5% (#27 highest)
- Total population: 66.3 million

While the U.K. may rank in the final 25 countries with the best life expectancy, the average length of life for Northern Ireland men fell slightly, according to a BBC report. The decline was likely because of a flu epidemic, social care budget cuts, and extreme winters from 2015 to 2017. Up until those years, longer life expectancy in the U.K. and Northern Ireland were because of diminished tobacco use and the treatment and reduction of infectious diseases.

#21. Finland
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#21. Finland

- Life expectancy: 81.4 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.3 (#179 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 3 (#176 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 4.5 (#165 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 7 (#178 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 12.4% (#74 highest)
- Total population: 5.5 million

Well-funded public-service and social-care programs, including free school meals for all, are some reasons Finlanders are living past 81 years old, The Guardian reports. Additionally, open government health care and obligatory sick pay, help the Finnish live longer.

#20. Malta
32/Shepard4711 // Flickr

#20. Malta

- Life expectancy: 81.5 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 6.4 (#141 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 9 (#146 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3.5 (#173 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 20 (#153 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 15.6% (#33 highest)
- Total population: 436,000

Malta residents aren't just living longer—they are living better, according to a Malta Today report. Some factors that contribute to a longer, healthier life include consuming less alcohol and tobacco. The most significant factor is a decline in premature births directly caused by cardiovascular conditions. However, socioeconomic conditions showed “large disparities were noted across income groups, with 86% of high-income individuals saying they were healthy, compared with 55% in the lowest income bracket.”

#19. Portugal
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#19. Portugal

- Life expectancy: 81.5 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.7 (#160 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 10 (#142 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 7.5 (#149 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 10 (#171 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 11.9% (#80 highest)
- Total population: 10.33 million

The life expectancy in the Iberian country eclipses the EU average by almost half a year, according to the State of Health in the EU report, but is still less than two years to that in Italy or Spain. Barron's reports that as the top retirement spot, Portugal touts a healthy Mediterranean diet, warm weather, and affordable, high-quality health care—all contributing factors to living a long life.

#18. Ireland
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#18. Ireland

- Life expectancy: 81.5 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.5 (#165 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 8 (#151 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 4 (#169 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 12 (#168 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 13.4% (#62 highest)
- Total population: 4.7 million

Ireland's life expectancy may be longer than other countries, but it is leveling off due to diabetes, obesity, and flu outbreaks, according to The Irish Times. Furthermore, life expectancy remains stalled in some regions because of socioeconomic conditions, but life expectancy has grown considerably since 2006 due to fewer male motor accidents and deaths by suicide.

#17. Netherlands
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#17. Netherlands

- Life expectancy: 81.6 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.9 (#158 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 7 (#155 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3.4 (#174 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 14 (#163 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 20.9% (#8 highest)
- Total population: 16.98 million

Like the other 25 wealthiest countries in the world, The Netherlands is rich with long life, according to various news reports. With excellent health care and economic and social stability, The Netherlands is noted “among the best health outcomes in the world,” as it “ranks better than most countries in terms of infant and maternal mortality,” based on the report.

#16. Austria
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#16. Austria

- Life expectancy: 81.9 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.6 (#163 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 4 (#170 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 5.5 (#162 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 15 (#160 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 16.3% (#28 highest)
- Total population: 8.75 million

While the 2019 Global Expat Index ranks Iceland as the best country for life expectancy, Austria comes in second for the best country to live abroad. Expats who migrate to the central European country will live among natives who live longer lives because of economic stability and excellent health care.

#15. New Zealand
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#15. New Zealand

- Life expectancy: 82.2 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 5.3 (#146 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 11 (#138 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 7.6 (#148 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 7 (#178 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 23.4% (#3 highest)
- Total population: 4.66 million

It is New Zealand policies like the "Wellbeing Budget," a fiscal plan with citizens' happiness and life expectancy in mind, help keep residents living past 82 years old. By focusing on childhood poverty, mental illness, and domestic violence, The New Zealand Herald reports "the proposed budget would give about $600 million to address anxiety and depressive disorders that may not require hospital stays, yet have negative effects on people's lives."

#14. Israel
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#14. Israel

- Life expectancy: 82.3 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.6 (#163 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 5 (#165 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 4.0 (#168 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 15 (#160 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 11.6% (#87 highest)
- Total population: 8.11 million

A 2018 study published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reveals that Israel is set to become the #7 healthiest country by 2040. Even with the decline, Israeli citizens will still live past 80 years old in two decades due to keeping key health factors under control, according to study data. The top five health considerations used to determine longer life include blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index, and the amount of alcohol and tobacco use.

#13. Sweden
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#13. Sweden

- Life expectancy: 82.4 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.8 (#172 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 4 (#170 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3 (#180 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 7 (#178 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 19% (#12 highest)
- Total population: 9.84 million

The Scandinavian country is one of the cleanest nations, according to a report in Country Living magazine, which found that pristine environments lead to longer lives. Sweden's long life expectancy may also have something to do with the country's exceptional medical care, wealth, and adult literacy rate.

#12. Luxembourg
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#12. Luxembourg

- Life expectancy: 82.4 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.6 (#176 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 10 (#142 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 6.4 (#155 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 12 (#168 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 13.6% (#59 highest)
- Total population: 579,000

Surrounded by other “best life expectancy” countries like Belgium, France, and Germany, Luxembourg misses making the top 10 as it did in 2014. A comprehensive and free unsubsidized health-care system keeps citizens living longer; however, poor housing, employment, and dietary conditions keep the underprivileged from living longer lives. Additionally, the tiny nation has “9% of deaths with mortality 52% higher than in other European countries, mainly due to suicide and motor vehicle traffic injuries,” reports HealthMangament.org.

#11. Iceland
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#11. Iceland

- Life expectancy: 82.4 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.1 (#180 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 3 (#176 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 4.1 (#167 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 9 (#175 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 15.7% (#31 highest)
- Total population: 332,000

The Iceland Monitor reports that female Iceland natives rank as the seventh longest living women in the world, with a life expectancy of up to 84 years. Additionally, the Nordic island nation comes in with the lowest infant mortality rate in Europe from 2008 to 2017. Statistics Iceland reports that in the last three decades, life expectancy extended six years for native men and four years for women.

#10. Norway
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#10. Norway

- Life expectancy: 82.5 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.6 (#176 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 5 (#165 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3.3 (#176 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 9 (#175 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 18.2% (#14 highest)
- Total population: 5.25 million

Staying active and eating lots of fish keeps Norwegians living longer, with many citizens hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter while consuming lean protein all year long. For those who are not following healthy lifestyles, the leading causes of death in the country include coronary heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and various cancers, including colon cancer and breast cancer.

#9. Republic of Korea
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#9. Republic of Korea

- Life expectancy: 82.7 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.3 (#169 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 11 (#138 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 10.6 (#127 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 20 (#153 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 12.3% (#76 highest)
- Total population: 50.98 million

The Borgen Project breaks down why the Republic of Korea ranks for best life expectancy and eating superfood kimchi, which is high vitamin A has a lot to do with it. Other ways South Koreans see long lives is through equal food distribution to school-age children, available access to health and social care programs, advances in the health-care system, and keeping their blood pressure low.

#8. Canada
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#8. Canada

- Life expectancy: 82.8 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 5.1 (#148 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 7 (#155 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 6.6 (#154 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 7 (#178 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 18.8% (#13 highest)
- Total population: 36.38 million

Living longer in Canada is directly attributed to education, according to The Borgen Project, but for the first time in four decades, life expectancy in Canada has stalled due to drug addiction and overdose. While the elderly are living longer lives from advances in cancer and circulatory disease prevention, their numbers offset by Canadian men, ages 20 to 44, who are being killed by opioid overdose.

#7. Italy
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#7. Italy

- Life expectancy: 82.8 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.4 (#168 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 4 (#170 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 5.2 (#164 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 15 (#160 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 13.7% (#58 highest)
- Total population: 60.66 million

Many residents of the Acciaroli village in Italy live well past 90, according to Mayor Stefano Pisani, who told CBS in 2016 its natural for his citizens live to be 100. Why? Fresh fish, locally grown vegetables, and a laid-back attitude are just a few reasons, according to research and some of the village's oldest residents.

#6. France
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#6. France

- Life expectancy: 82.9 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 4.2 (#155 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 8 (#151 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 5.2 (#163 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 10 (#171 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 15.7% (#32 highest)
- Total population: 64.67 million

Low obesity levels and less binge drinking keep citizens of France living longer than many around the world, reports The Local. But the oldest man to ever live in France, Philippe Vocanson who died at 110 in 2015, said it was the cheese that helped him live to be a supercentenarian along with not smoking.

#5. Australia
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#5. Australia

- Life expectancy: 82.9 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.5 (#165 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 6 (#160 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 5.9 (#159 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 8 (#177 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 17.3% (#22 highest)
- Total population: 24.26 million

From the 1970s to the 1990s, Aussies saw longer life due to several factors, including government measures to promote smoking cessation campaigns and healthier diets. Additionally, advances in medicine slowed down premature deaths because of cardiovascular disease. However, Aussies run the risk of losing their long-term life expectancy ranking if they do not better control obesity, motor vehicle deaths, and suicide rates.

#4. Singapore
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#4. Singapore

- Life expectancy: 82.9 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.8 (#172 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 10 (#142 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3.8 (#170 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 26 (#144 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 14.2% (#49 highest)
- Total population: 5.65 million

The detection and close monitoring of chronic diseases may be why Singapore citizens are living longer, according to HealthXchange. Additionally, advances in cancer treatment and prevention have Singaporean residents seeing almost 83 years old. Furthermore, Singaporeans are encouraged to limit alcohol, maintain both a healthy diet and weight, and manage stress to live longer.

#3. Spain
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#3. Spain

- Life expectancy: 83.1 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 3.1 (#171 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 5 (#165 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3.6 (#172 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 10 (#171 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 14.5% (#44 highest)
- Total population: 46.63 million

Spain may hold the formula to longer life, according to a Foreign Policy report. Along with a Mediterranean diet, based on fish and olive oil, and a mild climate, “strong welfare policies and social cohesion,” assure the elderly are cared for properly. As for the youth, concerted efforts to curb childhood obesity are being taken to ensure the country remains one of the best for life expectancy.

#2. Switzerland
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#2. Switzerland

- Life expectancy: 83.3 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 4.2 (#155 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 5 (#165 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3 (#178 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 10 (#171 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 22.7% (#5 highest)
- Total population: 8.38 million

Switzerland's health-care system is one of the best in the world. Additionally, the Swiss have created a society that ranks in the top for health-conscious people. Living longer among the Alps comes with its benefits, as Switzerland routinely ranks among the world's happiest countries.

#1. Japan
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#1. Japan

- Life expectancy: 84.2 years
- Under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 2.6 (#176 highest of all countries)
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births): 5 (#165 highest)
- Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 people): 3 (#178 highest)
- Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution (per 100,000 people): 12 (#168 highest)
- Percent of government spending going to public health: 20.3% (#10 highest)
- Total population: 127.76 million

The Japanese diet, rich in seafood, may explain their longevity, and in 2017, there were over 2 million people over the age of 90 living in Japan. Japan is one of the top spenders on public health, covering nearly everyone within its borders with universal health care, including scores of Chinese tourists. Cultural norms dictate children caring for their parents later in life, allowing Japan's elderly to grow old with less stress and adding years to their lives.

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