We are all living longer than ever due to medical advances and better knowledge about issues such as nutrition and hygiene has increased the world’s average life expectancy from 30 in the Medieval period to 67.2 years. There are of course huge regional discrepancies and differences between countries, and although you can’t guarantee a long or healthy life by moving to one of these places, life expectancy figures can give a general indication of how good healthcare and standards of living are.
The country which comes out at the top of the rankings for life expectancy is Japan, where the average man can expect to live to 79.29 years and the average woman for 86.96 years. The long life expectancies are put down to a combination of a traditionally healthy diet featuring little saturated fat and lots of fish, and some of the most advanced medical technology in the western world.
The Swiss outrank all other Europeans with their life expectancies of 79.31 for a man and 84.12 for a woman. Standards of living in Switzerland are also high compared with their European neighbours but settling in Switzerland and living their permanently is not always simple.
We’ve all heard about how healthy the Mediterranean diet is, and the fact that on average Italians are living to 78.58 years for men and 83.98 years for women seems to prove the point. The combination of the Mediterranean style diet which is high in vitamins and minerals and low in saturated fats and processed products has a lot to do with the long life expectancies, as does the outdoors style of living.
Australia has been a long popular destination with British expats looking for a better lifestyle for them and for their families, and the average life expectancy for an Australian man is 79.12 and for a woman, 83.75. The Aussie way of life which is based on lots of outdoors living and sport has a lot to do with these high figures, as does the good healthcare system enjoyed by Australians.
It’s not surprising that the countries which perform worst on the world rankings of life expectancy are those which have suffered from civil wars, large scale problems with tropical diseases or AIDS and widespread poverty. The countries at the very bottom of the world rankings are the Central African Republic, Lesotho and Sierra Leone, where the average life expectancy is as low as 45 years.