Top Countries for Long Life Expectancy

If you plan to live to a ripe old age, the good news is that according to the World Health Organization (or WHO), we are living approximately 10-percent longer than we were in 2011. However, your geographical location may have a bigger impact on your life expectancy than you thought.

WHO claims that five important factors impact a country’s life expectancy—including wealth, healthy diet, health care, violent crime (or civil unrest), and smoking and alcoholic consumption. The following nine countries have been documented as having the best average life expectancy throughout the world (in reverse order). Here’s what they’re doing to boost longevity…

Australia: 80.50 Years

Average Life Expectancy: 80.50 Years

If you want to live into your golden years, throw another shrimp on the barbie! In the land down under, the average life expectancy is a ripe 80.50-years-old thanks to lower rates of smoking, poverty, and obesity. Aussies generally live pretty active lifestyles and consume rather healthful diets…and I’m not talking about Vegemite.

I’m sorry, that stuff is pretty gross! However, indigenous populations in Australia tend to live shorter lives (cut by about 20-years) due to higher poverty, smoking, and obesity rates.


Average Life Expectancy: 80.1 Years

Sweden’s public health system is still considered a model for the rest of the world. The Swedish can also boast the lowest smoking rates (only 17-percent of the country lights up) throughout the developed world, which obviously contributes to a general life expectancy of 80.1 years old.


Average Life Expectancy: 80.1 Years

Tied with Sweden, Switzerland also offers residents an impressive health care system and a stable economy. However, the rest of the world can also take a healthy example from Switzerland when it comes to diet. It doesn’t hurt that the country’s neutral stance on world conflict increases peace and lessens the risk of civil unrest or armed conflict.


Average Life Expectancy: 80.25 Years

A healthy diet largely made up of lean fish, vegetables, rice and noodles puts Japan in the number six spot for world life expectancy. This mixed with the fact that much of the country cycles instead of driving shows that regularly activity is a major factor for longevity—both solidifying Japan as a country with some of the lowest adult obesity rates (a mere 3-percent) in the industrialized world.

Hong Kong

Average Life Expectancy: 81.59 Years

The people of Hong Kong can thank their clean and balanced diets as a perpetrator to long life. Like Japan, meals in Hong Kong are centered on vegetables, tofu, rice, and only small amounts of meat (mostly fish). Residents also don’t eat much dairy or bread, largely contributing to lower obesity rates, cancer, and heart disease rates.

San Marino, Italy

Average Life Expectancy: 81.71 Years

This tiny enclave, located in Italy’s central zone deserves kudos for long life expectancy. However, the tiny size (San Marino is the third smallest state in Europe) is what benefits the country’s prosperity and makes job prospects better. The republic’s wealth doesn’t come from industry and so residents tend to enjoy cushy office jobs rather than risky labor intensive jobs.

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Average Life Expectancy: 81.71 Years

Tied with San Marino, Italy, Singapore is not only a rather prosperous country, the government also refurbished the country’s health care facilities to deal with an increasing aging population back in the early 1990’s, which is 81.71-years-old, on average.


Average Life Expectancy: 82.19 Years

Not only is island life more peaceful, residents of Macau, located in the South China Sea, drives prosperity through its booming tourist industry. While most visitors (mainly from the Chinese mainland) visit Macau to try their luck playing at the country’s liberal gambling industry, that money goes directly back into public health care.


Average Life Expectancy: 89.73 Years

Monaco enjoys the highest expectancy rate in the world, partially thanks to the well-touted Mediterranean diet that residents consume. As one of the world’s wealthiest nations, Monaco understandably boasts the cream of the crop when it comes to available health services, and thanks to the climate by the sea, one of the healthiest diets on the planet is easy to maintain—thanks to the fresh fruits and vegetables, and omega-3 rich seafood that flourish here.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.