It’s a well-established fact that the Mediterranean, with its warm and gentle climate and diet rich in olive oil and seafood, provides some of the best conditions in which to live to a ripe old age. It also appears that the top life expectancy figures belong to small states and microstates where people tend to be wealthy and not prone to the stresses encountered in, say, big cities.
So it’s not surprising to find countries such as Andorra and San Marino appearing in the CIA World Factbook as offering the most conducive factors for longevity – both male and female. Asian and Far Eastern countries (again, the smaller the better) also feature in the top ten according to the latest table, with Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan all appearing in the ideal relocation list for wannabe Dorian Greys. And that other well-known tax haven, Guernsey in the English channel, also gets a look-in.
But heading the list, and by quite a margin, at nearly 90 years’ average life expectancy (93.69 for women and 85.77 for men), is the principality of Monaco. It is the third year running that Monaco has topped the table, after having appeared 20th in the list in 2008.
Top ten countries in the world ranked by Life Expectancy
(figures in years estimated for 2012 by the CIA World Factbook)
Rank Country Combined Men Women ============================================= 1 Monaco 89.73 85.77 93.69 2 Macau 84.41 81.45 87.52 3 San Marino 83.01 80.5 85.74 4 Andorra 82.43 80.35 84.64 5 Japan 82.25 78.96 85.72 6 Guernsey 82.16 79.5 84.95 7 Singapore 82.14 79.53 84.96 8 Hong Kong 82.04 79.32 84.97 9 Australia 81.81 79.4 84.35 10 Italy 81.77 79.16 84.53
People can be very critical of Monaco because of the fact that its population is made up principally of the very wealthy, and of course being able to afford good healthcare is one of the factors involved. But there’s no question that the relaxed way of life (for all the Bentleys and Cartier jewels, there is hardly any crime), the vast quantities of sunshine, the clean streets, and the general tranquility of life are all substantial contributory factors.
And what of the other countries? Well unsurprisingly, France also does well, at 14th in the table, with the UK in 30th position, and the USA languishing in 50th place.
It ought to be added that these figures apply to those who have spent their lives in Monaco, as they are calculated from birth. However, there’s no question that if you want to enhance your quality of life and your expectation of a healthy old age, you should first make your millions, and then move to where the magic is!