healthHealth and Medicine

How Healthy Is Your Country?


Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer


Rubio Lu/Shutterstock

A study in The Lancet has revealed the healthiest countries in the world – and it’s grim reading for some, such as the US.

The research, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was conducted as part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with countries marked according to public data, pharmaceutical reports, and medical records.


“The massive study emerged from a decadelong collaboration focused on the worldwide distribution of disease,” said Bloomberg, adding that the team “scrubbed data obtained on dozens of topics from all over the world.”

Top of the list was Iceland, while the UK managed to come in at fifth. But it’s not until you get to 28th place that you find the US, while China ranked even more poorly in 92nd place.

In last place out of 188 countries, we find the Central African Republic, closely followed by Somalia, South Sudan, Niger, and Chad.

“Our analysis not only highlights the importance of income, education, and fertility as drivers of health improvement but also emphasises that investments in these areas alone will not be sufficient,” the study authors noted.


Below is the top 10 list with some notable countries also added. You can see the full list and read more about the study in the open source PDF available on The Lancet.

1. Iceland

2. Singapore

3. Sweden


4. Andorra

5. UK

6. Finland

7. Spain


8. Netherlands

9. Canada

10. Australia

15. Germany


28. USA

92. China

119. Russia

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