The 13 countries where people live the longest in the world

As you would expect, the more developed the economy, the more likely it is to have a longer life expectancy

Lianna Brinded
Wednesday 28 September 2016 15:09 BST

The World Economic Forum (WEF)'s recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey does not just look at the financial health of countries around the world – it also looks at the health of populations.

The WEF ranked countries in terms of the average life expectancy, showing where in the world people live the longest.

As you would expect, the more developed the economy, the more likely it is to have a longer life expectancy due to access to a high level of healthcare, as well as typically healthier diets.

However, what is interesting is that some of the places listed have a lower life expectancy than expected due to the rise in mental health related issues resulting in suicide.

We have cross referenced the ranking against OECD data on each country to try and figure out why people there live so long — check it out.

13. Sweden — 82 years. Swedes live two years longer than the average age in all OECD countries. The OECD noted that high water quality contributes to a healthier nation.

Stockholm, capital of Sweden. The country is the best place for an expat family to raise children, a new survey has shown (Ola Ericson/

12. Iceland — 82.1 years. Iceland has “The World’s Best Diet” according to a vote by nutritionists. It is said to reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

T=9. Republic of Korea (South Korea) — 82.2 years. Life expectancy in the country has risen over the last few years due to the improvement in the economy generating a more prolific middle class. However, the OECD warns pollution is still high compared to other member countries.

T=9. Luxembourg — 82.2 years. The country has a tiny population compared the rest of Europe and a high income per capita — meaning easy access to a healthy diet and the best healthcare.

(Rex (Rex)

T=9. Israel — 82.2 years. Men from Israel have one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world, despite mandatory military service.

8. Australia — 82.3 years. The World Health Organisation says an increase in healthier lifestyles and improved healthcare in the country has boosted the nation's life expectancy.

7. France — 82.4 years. France has one of the lowest obesity rates among OECD countries which contributes towards the nation's high life expectancy.

L'Eglise de Chavot, the 12th century Church of Chavot, on Tourist Route of Champagne in Marne, Champagne-Ardenne region, France (Rex)

6. Singapore — 82.6 years. Life expectancy in the country has increased over the last 30 years, thanks to its high level of preventive and therapeutic healthcare.

5. Italy — 82.7 years. Respected medical journal The Lancet said Italians tend to live the longest because there is less of a poverty gap in the country. This means that a majority of the population are all able to still eat similar healthy and fresh food, which is usually a luxury for the poor.

File image: Italy's 'Corte di Cassazione' or Supreme Court in Rome (Getty Images)

4. Switzerland — 82.8 years. The nation's wealth makes healthcare and a good diet more readily available. The oldest woman to live in Switzerland was famously Rosa Rein, who was born in 1897 and died in 2010.

3. Spain — 83.1 years. Spain is famous for its “Mediterranean Diet” which doctors say can contribute to a long and healthy life. It is filled with fresh vegetables and fish, as well as healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts.

2. Japan — 83.6 years. Three years ago, Japan dropped to second place in the rankings because of, sadly, the rise in the number of suicides by the female population. However, life expectancy is long in Japan due to the a predominantly healthy diet.

1. Hong Kong — 84 years. Various medical journals have noted that the Cantonese tradition of engaging in the non-combative martial art Tai Chi significantly helps people to remain active and healthy into old age. Steamed foods and tea drinking are also said to help keep the Cantonese on a balanced diet.

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Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2016. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

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