Lonely Planet Writer

Fill up on pasta and wine, Italy is the healthiest country in the world

If you’re dreaming of a nice, long life, consider a permanent vacation to Italy.

Tuscany, farmhouse in the early morning light.
Tuscany, farmhouse in the early morning light. Image by ©Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/500px

According to the Bloomberg Global Health Index, Italy is the healthiest country in the world. The new study looked at 163 countries around the world, and found that Italians came out on top with a life expectancy into their 80s and general good health.

Man pouring olive oil over Tuscan bruschetta and cavolo nero.
Man pouring olive oil over Tuscan bruschetta and cavolo nero. Image by ©Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

If you’re wondering if that lovely Italian diet and lifestyle helps, Bloomberg notes that Italians enjoy a diet that includes a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, leans meats, fish and of course, a healthy serving of extra virgin olive oil.

The index used data from the World Health Organisation, United Nations Population Division and the World Bank, and countries were graded on criteria like life expectancy, health risks, availability of clean water, mental health and more. Italy had a health index score of 93.11, followed by Iceland at 91.21, Switzerland at 90.75, Singapore at 90.23, and Australia at 89.24.

An Italian summer dish associated with Sicily, Caponata.
An Italian summer dish associated with Sicily, Caponata. Image by ©o_lesyk/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Israel was the highest ranked country in the Middle East, Chile was the top in Latin American and Eastern Europe’s top country was Slovenia.