Survey praises Spain as best world country for expat longevity

Published:  20 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, UK, England
A major world health survey has revealed Spain as the planet’s most healthy country.

Last year, the Health Metrics Institute at the University of Washington revealed Spain as the second most healthy world country, with a further 2019 survey elevating it to number one for longevity and overall health. This year’s result, tabled by the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, included variables such as obesity, tobacco use and life expectancy and also took into account correct sanitation and the provision of clean water. By 2040, according to Bloomberg, Spain will have the record for the planet’s longest lifespan at around 86 years.

Spain’s main claim to fame and longevity is its Mediterranean diet, its use of extra-virgin olive oil, its love of fish and its culinary habit of adding nuts wherever possible. The resulting lower risk of major cardiovascular problems in the average Spaniard is yet another reason why British expats raised on fish and chips, beer and fags are more than happy to correct their culinary mistakes via a move to Spain. The moral of the tale is to eat like a Spaniard at the same time as giving up smoking, thus getting the best of both health-related worlds and living to a ripe old age. Britain, of course, just scraped into 19th position on the healthy lifestyle list.

Bloomberg is happy over Spain’s excellent reputation for healthcare as well as its reasonable cost, but expats find it’s less than straightforward to access its provisions. The country runs a combination of public and private healthcare options, with the free public version available on payment of monthly contributions. As over 50 per cent of Spain’s hospitals are private, many expats take out personal healthcare insurance as a guarantee of getting help when it’s needed. For would-be expats determined to spend their retirement years in the sun, it’s sensible to plan for the possibility of health problems along the way, especially as private nursing homes offering 24/7 care can cost from €2,000 to €5,000 a month.
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