Healthiest Country Index 2019

According to Bloomberg’s recently-published Healthiest Country Index 20191, Spain is the healthiest nation in the world.

Of the 169 World Health Organisation states that have a population of at least 300,000, Spain leapt five places to overtake the last report’s winners Italy in the league table compiled by the global news agency.

Behavioural and environmental characteristics

In order to proclaim a country healthy or not, Bloomberg’s study calculates its “health score” from a list of variables and subtracts “health risk penalties” that endanger its citizens’ wellbeing.

Factors like mortality rate and life expectancy (from birth, childhood, youth and at retirement) are some of the health score metrics; while high blood pressure and blood sugar levels, tobacco consumption, obesity, malnutrition and access to basic vaccination coverage are some of the risks that deduct points from a country’s overall “health grade”.

Furthermore, the survey takes into account environmental – or so-called exogenous – variables like access to clean air, water and sanitation when grading each nation.

Spain is the World’s Healthiest Nation in 2019. Behavioural and environmental characteristics

4 European nations in top 5

The world’s top five healthiest nations were Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan and Switzerland, in that order, with Sweden, Australia, Singapore, Norway and Israel rounding out the top 10.

This is very pleasing from a European perspective, since four of the top five ranked countries – and six out of the first 10on the list – are part of continental Europe.

Spain: healthiest nation in the world

Spain’s high aggregate score has been attributed to several different factors. Firstly, Spaniards have the highest life expectancy from birth in the EU, as well as the best healthcare system and the lowest fatality rates from treatable conditions.

Spain is the World’s Healthiest Nation in 2019. Mediterranean diet

These factors combined mean that people live longer, fewer Spaniards die from genetic diseases or sicknesses during infancy and, even when illnesses are detected, the advanced infrastructure and excellent quality of Spain’s healthcare professionals makes for world-leading medical assistance.

Another suggestion is that Spain’s (and Italy’s) “Mediterranean diet” is partly responsible for the country’s stingy health risk penalty rating, since its low mortality rate from cardiovascular events helped improve its behavioural score compared to other nations.


Whatever the combination of variables, what is sure is that Spain is the healthiest nation in the world and that is as attractive a quality as any other to make a country your home.

As I wrote in January, Spain is the fifth best country in the world to live in and the country frequently appears in lists of the best places to retire or re-locate to, as well as its cities ranking highly in the world’s “most liveable cities”.

So, if you haven’t moved here already and you’re sitting on the fence, how many more reasons do you need?! Take a look at the VIVA website for top tips on everything to do with living in Spain and enjoying life on the Costa del Sol!