Who doesn’t want to live in a place guaranteed to give them good health? Well, a new study has revealed which countries are leading the way.
According to research published in the journal Lancet, by 2040, Spain will overtake Japan as the country with the highest global life expectancy.
Findings suggest that, in 20 years time, the population of Spain, on average, will live to the age of nearly 86.
Currently, Japan leads with 85.7 years followed by Singapore (85.4) and Switzerland (85.2).
Meanwhile, our friends in the United States continue to slide in the rankings: in 2016 they were ranked 43rd, but come 2040 they’re expected to rank 64th with an average life expectancy of 79.8.
Other notable countries include China who will rank 39th and expect to live to 81.9 years old. That’s a huge improvement to their predicted lifespan of 76.3 in 2016.
Fortunately, us Aussies can rest easy. We’re not far behind Spain and in the top 10 nations: we can expect to live to 84.1 years.
Brits and Germans also rank highly. The UK (83.3) and Germany (83.2) aren’t far behind us.
“Whether we see significant progress or stagnation depends on how well or poorly health systems address key health drivers,” says lead author of the study and director of data science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Kyle Foreman.
“The future of the world’s health is not pre-ordained, and there is a wide range of plausible trajectories.”
Unfortunately, countries in the African region continue to see poor living standards, highlighting the huge levels of inequality. By 2040, four African countries will have a life expectancy of less than 65 years, with Lesotho the hardest hit: 57.3. Analysts suggest that their numbers could be off – Lesotho could be as low as 45.3 years in the worst-case scenario.
“Inequalities will continue to be large,” adds IHME Director Christopher Murray.
“In a substantial number of countries, too many people will continue earning relatively low incomes, remain poorly educated, and die prematurely. But nations could make faster progress by helping people tackle the major risks, especially smoking and poor diet.”