With everyone in the world jumping on the healthy living bandwagon, it makes you wonder just which country is winning the proverbial race and living the longest.
As part of their data collection for the World Factbook, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) combs through death certificates, recording race, gender, cause of death and other factors to estimate the life expectancy of a nation’s entire population. Calculating the average life expectancy of the world’s total population at 67.59 years, the CIA has determined which societies live longer.
In the United States, average life expectancy is 78.49 years, well above the world’s norm. Despite this fact however, we rank 50th on the CIA’s life expectancy list.
These five countries are out living us by leaps and bounds, no tricks, just good living. If you don’t live in one of these cities, checking out this list might just make you want to move.
With a life expectancy of 81.86 years, Italians live an average of 3.37 years longer than Americans…even with all the pasta in their diet. Actually it’s their diet that expert credit for their longevity. The Mediterranean diet is credited with lowering the risk for all sorts of diseases. The antioxidants found in olive oil and red wine — two key features of an Italian meal — can improve cholesterol, prevent blood clots and stave off heart disease, according to the American Heart Association
Hong Kongers can expect to live nearly four years longer than Americans. Like Italians, people from Hong Kong can partly attribute their longer lives, which is about 82.12 years, to their diet — rice, vegetables and tofu are staples — and active lifestyle.
Australia’s long life expectancy of 81.90 years can be attributed to several factors, including relatively low smoking and obesity rates, as well as an active lifestyle. But many Australian medical experts insist that the secret to Aussies’ longevity is universal healthcare. While the ability to obtain healthcare in the United States depends heavily on employment status and personal wealth, Australians have access to necessary care no matter how much they make.
First Hong Kong, now Japan … seeing a trend? Unlike the U.S., Japan boasts an obesity rate or just 3.1 percent and much of that is owed to the Japanese diet, which revolves around fresh vegetables, rice, and most importantly, fish. Fresh fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes healthy blood pressure levels and reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids encourage healthy brain function, helping prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The country of Monaco may be known for its extravagance, but what it’s even better known for is having the longest life expectancy in the world. Residents of Monaco live almost a full decade longer than Americans at 89.68 years. Monaco shares several aspects with other long-living nations, including an abundance of wealth and state-funded healthcare. Residents also live on a Mediterranean diet, which is associated with a reduced risk for a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
However, it may just be Monaco’s relaxing atmosphere that keeps residents hanging on until a ripe old age. Its location along the Mediterranean Sea and clean environment do their part to reduce stress, which can lower immunity and contribute to cardiovascular diseases.