We already know Canadians are some of the nicest people in the world, but now we may finally know why. According to a new report the Global Wellness Index published by investment firm LetterOne, Canada has been named the healthiest country, taking the top spot over 151 nations. Double fist pump for us Canadians!
The index focuses on 10 key metrics: blood pressure, blood glucose, obesity, depression, happiness, alcohol use, tobacco use, exercise, healthy life expectancy, and government spending on healthcare. This new index is the latest effort by economists to evaluate the world beyond economic growth (meaning money doesn’t always buy happiness — but we already knew that, right?).
As researchers start assessing global living standards in an attempt to measure how healthy, happy, and successful humans are based on where they live, a pattern is slowly emerging. The verdict so far? Bigger isn’t always better. Smaller countries are dominating in health and wellness, while big countries with booming economies are falling behind.
“Beyond the essential ideas of broad access to food and housing, to quality education and healthcare, to employment that will sustain us, quality of life may also include intangibles such as job security, political stability, individual freedom, and environmental quality,” the survey said.
Canada, Oman, and Iceland took the top three spots. South Africa came in last. The U.S. ranked 37th, and the U.K. came in at 17th, both held back by factors such as high rates of obesity, depression, and inactivity. Data was collected from standard sources, including the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory and the United Nations, as well as public health data.