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Top Healthiest and Unhealthiest Countries Globally – 2024 Rankings

Top Healthiest and Unhealthiest Countries

Many things can affect the health of a country and its people. We used data from the Legatum Prosperity Index (LPI) to compile a list of the 15 healthiest and 15 unhealthiest countries in the world. The index ranks countries by looking at various health-related factors like access to health services, quality of healthcare, mortality rates, and prevalence of illnesses. It has calculated a ratio to determine how close each country is to the best score overall.

The healthiest countries in the world

1. Singapore

Singaporeans are known for having long and healthy lives compared to citizens in other countries. They are famous for their great food scene, but they also lead very active lives. They also have one of the best healthcare systems in the world as a safety net.

2. Japan

Japanese food culture is centered around a traditional diet rich in vegetables, seaweed, and seafood, which promotes a healthy lifestyle. Japan also provides excellent healthcare that focuses on preventive care rather than reactive care.

3. South Korea

A healthy Korean diet includes protein, carbs, and fat in a well-balanced format. In addition, Koreans also place a strong emphasis on including physical activity in their daily routine. Furthermore, people are very satisfied with both the access to and the quality of healthcare, which is considered one of the best in the world.

4. Taiwan

Taiwan ranks as the fourth healthiest country in the world. Universal healthcare is provided for all citizens, ensuring that healthcare services are easily accessible to everyone, regardless of income.

5. China

China has an internationally recognized healthcare system where healthcare is free for Chinese citizens and permanent residents. Moreover, the traditional Chinese diet has been mostly vegetarian for centuries, and this has been shown to be beneficial for health.

6. Israel

Many Israelis follow the Mediterranean diet, which promotes eating moderate amounts of fish and poultry while limiting dairy products, red and processed meat, and sweets. In addition, Israel also offers universal healthcare to its citizens.

7. Norway

Norway is another Scandinavian country known for its strong health system. It’s no wonder they have a universal healthcare system, enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, follow a nutritious diet, and have easy access to health and wellness services.

8. Iceland

Some people believe that the high consumption of fish in Iceland, which is rich in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, is one of the reasons why many Icelanders live long lives. Citizens in this area are also active and enjoy outdoor activities, which contributes to a life expectancy in the eighties for both men and women.

9. Sweden

Sweden is known for having a high quality of life, largely because of its strong social welfare and public healthcare systems, as well as a safe and clean environment. The local diet is thought to be healthy because it usually includes fresh ingredients like fish, lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

10. Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the healthiest countries in the world due to its healthy diet and culture that values exercise. In Switzerland, there are no free state-provided health services. However, private health insurance is mandatory for all residents.

11. Netherlands

The Dutch government has one of the best universal healthcare systems in the world, but they still require all adults to have basic insurance. People in this population enjoy fried food, but they have found a way to eat in moderation, maintain a balanced diet, and stay active.

12. Luxembourg

All people living in Luxembourg have access to the country’s free and high-quality public healthcare system. Women typically live to be around 85 years old, while men usually live to be around 80 years old.

13. Germany

Germany has a strong healthcare system that ensures everyone receives good medical care, resulting in a life expectancy above the European average. Germans also like to stay active by participating in sports, cycling, or just going for walks.

14. Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s public healthcare system offers excellent medical standards and modern equipment for all residents. As a result, females have a life expectancy of 88 years and males have a life expectancy of 83 years.

15.  Finland

Finland is well-known for its excellent healthcare system. Additionally, Finns are known to be some of the most active people in Europe, enjoying hobbies such as hiking, skiing, and cycling. Being closely connected to nature is thought to be one of the reasons why they are so happy and healthy.

The unhealthiest countries in the world

1. Central African Republic

The Central African Republic has been dealing with a health crisis for decades, especially during times of conflict. The country with the worst health conditions in the world is facing major issues such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and AIDS. Because there is not enough clean water available, diseases like typhoid and diarrhea that are spread through water are also frequently seen.

2. South Sudan

Many people in South Sudan do not have access to important health services, clean water, and sanitation. One out of every ten children dies before they reach the age of five, and the rate of maternal death is one of the highest in the world, around 1,223 per 100,000 births.

3. Chad

Chad keeps track of the number of malaria, measles, meningitis, yellow fever, and cholera cases on a regular basis. Main factors that keep vulnerable groups deprived include inappropriate family practices and poor access to basic social services.

4. Lesotho

Lesotho has some of the highest rates of HIV and tuberculosis globally. Many of Lesotho’s 2.2 million residents live in remote villages that are hours away from the nearest health facility.

5. Somalia

The conflict and instability in Somalia have negatively impacted the population, especially in terms of their healthcare services. Many people are facing severe malnutrition and are at risk of diseases like cholera and measles due to widespread famine.

6. Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone has faced challenges with some of the world’s highest health issues, such as infant and maternal mortality, malaria, and diarrheal diseases.

7. Eswatini

Eswatini, which was previously known as Swaziland, faces significant challenges due to high rates of HIV infection and AIDS, tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases.

8. Liberia

In Liberia, hospitals and medical facilities lack proper equipment. Malaria is responsible for the most outpatient visits and is the primary cause of death in hospitalized patients.

9. Guinea

In Guinea, AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria are significant public health issues. Additionally, poor sanitation and unhygienic conditions can lead to higher rates of infant mortality.

10. Angola

Angola is considered one of the unhealthiest countries in the world due to widespread poverty, political unrest, and a lack of adequate medical services. Malaria is still a major public health issue.

11. Nigeria

Children’s health in Nigeria is being harmed by poor diets, with five out of 10 children under the age of five suffering from malnutrition. But malaria is a major public health issue in Nigeria.

12. Equatorial Guinea

Unfortunately, due to inadequate sanitation and ineffective infection control, there is a risk of being exposed to diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, and tuberculosis in Equatorial Guinea. Twenty percent of children die before the age of five, which has led to an increase in infant mortality.

13. Guinea-Bissau

Access to healthcare, food, and clean drinking water is uncertain in this West African country. Furthermore, many health facilities do not have enough equipment and provide low-quality services.

14. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Years of armed conflicts and the lack of formal economic opportunities, along with high rates of malnutrition, illness, and poor education, have made the DRC one of the unhealthiest countries in the world.

15. Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, unhealthy diets have been caused by poverty, natural disasters, and poor eating choices. One out of every three children under the age of five is malnourished there.


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