April 15, 2018

Top Countries to Migrate and Settle Down in if You Want to Live Longer

So, you want to live to a ripe old age and wonder where’s the best place to settle down to achieve this. According to the results of the latest World Health Statistics report released by the World Health Organization, you had better immigrate to a developed country with a good standard of living that invests heavily in public health services.

In addition to the standard of living and public health services of the country you find yourself in, it also helps greatly if you stay active, lose weight, have the right genetics, eat right, stop smoking, and learn to speak Japanese (LOL...). So, consider migrating to these 'healthy' countries, if you live outside of them.

Top 21 countries to live in for a longer life

We have listed the top 21 countries you would be in to live longer, as published in WHO's 2017 World Health Statistics report, starting from the bottom 21st country down to the top best country as #1 below.

21). United Kingdom – 81.2 years

Despite dangers posed by the English fried breakfast, average life expectancy here is respectable, at 81.2 years. However, life expectancy figures forecast for 2041 have taken a recent decline, with residents of former mining communities and isolated rural areas expected to have the biggest plunges in longevity, compared to the London area and the southwest.

Reasons cited included plummeting levels of employment, cuts to front-line health services, and increasing obesity

20). Ireland – 81.4 years

Statistically, the Irish are able to live five years longer today (an average of 81.4 years) than they did in the year 2000.

Gains in life expectancy have come after the mortality rate for cardiovascular diseases has dropped by nearly half, the result of a strong healthcare system. For further improvements, Ireland needs more doctors and hospital beds, and universal primary care.

19). Austria – 81.5 years

Austria has an average lifespan of 81.5 years. Some of the factors at play are improvements in its environmental quality (water), strong social connections, improved work-life balance, ample disposable income, good job growth, and a healthy sense of life satisfaction.

Austrians could up their expectancy through early intervention and detections and lifestyle changes in areas such as smoking, alcohol consumption, nutrition, exercise, and “risky behaviour.”

18). New Zealand – 81.6 years

Living on average 81.6 years, Kiwis may ascribe their good health to diverse factors, such as low population density, low air pollution levels, a good work-life balance (which reduces stress and improves diets), close connection to nature (mountains and the ocean), and a high literacy rate (which leads to more education about lifestyle choices)

17). Malta – 81.7 years

Life expectancy in Malta is not just high (81.7 years) but both men and women are supposed to live a greater percentage of this time in good health, so they can enjoy their extended years.

This wellness bounty has come about despite the Maltese being some of the most inactive and obese people in the world. Genetics, superior healthcare, and environmental conditions may be the balancing factors.

16). Norway – 81.8 years

Norway’s average life expectancy of 81.8 years may be partly due to its citizens embracing friluftsliv (an active lifestyle), with lots of hiking and skiing.

However, a 2016 health report on the country also points out: “Up to 100,000 years of life could be saved if Norwegians ate healthier diets. As many as 95,000 years of life could be saved if Norwegians reduced tobacco use.”

15). Netherlands – 81.9 years

Statistics Netherlands predicts that the life expectancy at age 65, in that country, will increase by 20.5 years in 2023 (the average life expectancy is now 81.9 years).

Such forecasts prompted the Dutch government to raise the qualifying age for pensions to 67 years and three months as of 2022. “Progress in medical knowledge and technology, as well as improved hygiene, nutrition and living conditions have contributed to a strongly decreased risk of premature death.”

14). Luxembourg – 82 years

With an average life expectancy of 82 years, the reasons given for longevity in Luxembourg vary, including medical advances and coverage, good working conditions, improved hygiene, and an unspoiled environment.

Condé Nast Traveler also points out: “The small country offers high quality of life, high salaries, and a strong social security system to help its citizens after retirement.”

13). Canada – 82.2 years

High-quality universal healthcare to treat things like cancer and cardiovascular disease, low infant morality and rates of road traffic injuries are among the reasons Canadians have an average life expectancy of 82.2 years.

A Maclean’s magazine article also speculates about an “immigrant effect”; the country welcomes huge numbers of mentally and physically healthy newcomers.

12). South Korea – 82.3 years

In South Korea, women are leading the way in longevity, living on average 85.5 years, compared to 78.8 for men (for an average of 82.3 years).

According to the New York Times, one study shows that women here now have a 57 per cent chance of living past age 90, because: “Compared with women from 34 other industrialized nations the study assessed, South Korean women generally smoke less, weigh less, have lower blood pressure and see doctors more often because most have health insurance.”

11). France – 82.4 years

Despite its rich diet and love of good wine, France continues to live long and prosper, with an average life expectancy of 82.4 years.
Low obesity levels, reduced binge drinking, and universal health care contribute to wellness and longevity here. The country, however, still has work to do when it comes to cracking down on tobacco use.

10). Sweden – 82.4 years

To achieve its average life expectancy of 82.4 years, Sweden does a number of things right, including having a generous social safety net, 37.5-hour work week, an average of 33 days of vacation per year.

But a 2017 book, The Nordic Guide to Living 10 Years Longer, by Swedish physician and researcher Bertil Marklund, suggests the reason can also be the country’s concept of lagom, which translates to "not too much and not too little." The idea of moderation in everything can have long-term health benefits

9). Israel – 82.5 years

Israel’s affluence and good health services may partly account for its average life expectancy of 82.5 years. A diet strong in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil and a preference for poultry over red meat may also play a role.

Other health factors include low alcohol consumption, low rates of criminal violence, and the support given by strong family and social networks.

8). Italy – 82.7 years

To discover why some Italians live so long (82.7 years on average), medical researchers went to a hamlet in the southwest, Acciaroli, where more than one in 10 people of the population of 700 is over 100 years old.

They discovered the elderly people had unusually good circulation, with low levels of adrenomedullin in the blood, comparable to 20- or 30-year-olds. High levels of the hormone can cause blood vessels to contract, causing circulatory problems

6). Iceland – 82.7 years

Long life (an average of 82.7 years) in Iceland may be for the usual reasons: healthy lifestyles, eating lean fish and meats, low tobacco use, and low obesity rates.

But according to Men’s Health, another factor might be Viking genetics: “Some researchers suspect that modern Icelanders may carry unusually robust ‘survivor genes’ bequeathed to them by ancestors who were equipped to survive the country’s evolutionary crucible.”

5). Spain – 82.8 years

With more than 100,000 people aged 100 or more, and an average life expectancy of 82.8 years, Spain may owe some of its longevity to a nice warm climate and the Mediterranean diet—high in fish, fruit, and vegetables. Low rates for cardiac disease and suicide also help.

4). Australia – 82.8 years

Generally, Australia is looking good, in the top four worldwide in terms of average life expectancy (82.8 years). However, this wealth of health isn’t shared across the board, with the country’s indigenous population living 10 years less on average.

Also, it is not evenly spread in geographic terms. With its higher average education and income levels, the Australian Capital Territory has a more than a five-year life expectancy advantage over the Northern Territory

3). Singapore – 83.1 years

According to the World Health Organization’s statistical report, one reason men and women live long in Singapore (83.1 years) is because of its gross domestic expenditure on research and development in health and medical sciences.

It also jointly tops the world in the proportion of births under the watch of skilled health personnel. It has, as well, low mortality rates when it comes to death by traffic, air pollution, and cardiovascular and cardiac conditions.

2). Switzerland – 83.4 years

At 81.3 years on average, Swiss men tend to live more than 12 years longer than the global average. And women have an average expectancy of an impressive 85.3 years (for a combined male-female expectancy of 83.4).

The reasons? Good health service coverage, a high standard of living, promotion of active lifestyles, and its society’s pro-family orientation.

1). Japan – 83.7 years

The Japanese may enjoy the world’s longest life expectancy, 83.7 years, because of how they eat. The Japanese government outlined a food guide in 2005, and citizens apparently paid attention.

Their diets are high in certain carbohydrates, vegetables, and fruits, and include fish and meat. With fewer saturated fats and processed foods, elderly Japanese get to blow out more birthday candles than anyone else

1). World Health Organization: World Health Statistics - Global Health Observatory (GHO) data. Accessed 14.04.18. Available here: http://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/en/
2). MSN Lifestyle: Settle down in one of these countries if you want to live longer. Accessed 15.04.18. Available here: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/travel/other/settle-down-in-one-of-these-countries-if-you-want-to-live-longer/ss-AAvQwbo

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