If you won the lottery, and could choose to live in the healthiest country anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Would you move somewhere with a hot climate, good health care, lots of green space?  What would be the key factors that would help you choose where you would want to live?

Some of the factors which play a key role in determining what city is the healthiest are:  long life expectancy rate at birth, accessibility to health care, mass transit available and commitments to having green space available.

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Singapore has the lowest infant mortality and the longest life expectancy rate.  I would say that would qualify it for being one of the healthiest places in the world to live.  In addition to this, they have a comprehensive health care system and 80% of the inhabitants use the public transportation system.  Their public transit system transports 2 million citizens daily!  Talk about an effective means of eliminating congestion and pollution.  Singapore also offers its inhabitants 200 km of green space for cycling or other outdoor activities.  These two factors put Singapore as a top contender as one of the healthiest cities in the world!

healthiest city in the world

Tokyo’s public transportation system is capable of moving 3 million people simultaneously to their places of work, school and leisure. The life expectancy rate of Tokyo is 84 which is large in part due to their interest in public health care (Universal health care began in 1961) and their strong Japanese values related to family and community.  The people of Tokyo can also attribute their high life expectancy to their healthy diets, which consists of vegetables, rice and fish.

Despite the devastating tsunami disaster, which occurred in 2011, the government of Japan states that the radiation levels are now safe and Tokyo a prime example of how a healthy city operates.

Not only is Perth named as one of the healthiest places to live, but more specifically for women to live.  The factors that contribute to Perth’s placement in the top 5 cities is its commitment to healthy eating, life satisfaction, mental health and health care.  In addition to those commitments, Perth has put a real effort into public transportation, Transperth.

The city has found an increase in the number of people using bicycles as a means of transportation.  Due to the high number of cyclists the city has even installed bicycle shelters to encourage the public to cycle to the trains in order to get to where they need to go.  Since the people of Perth live so close to the water, the government has developed a service where residents can easily locate green spaces in their area, which encourages the use of clean air spaces.  All of these factors make Perth a very appealing place to live.

Copenhagen has become known to have a very strong cycling culture, which led to the decrease in their Greenhouse Gas by 20% since 2005. The government of Copenhagen is so passionate about keeping these gas emissions down that they plan to be the first carbon neutral city in the world by 2025!  Talk about a city that is committed to health. The city has 400 km of bike trails, which is utilized by many of its inhabitants daily commuting to school and work.  Copenhagen’s commitment to the health of its people puts them at a great advantage and the reason why it was declared as one of the world’s top 5 healthiest cities.

Minnesota was also named one of the healthiest places to live due to its long-term care of their senior population.  Minnesota has great health care and prescription coverage and availability of long-term health care workers.  It has also stated that this city has a low infant mortality rate, low rate of seniors experiencing hip fractures, and an elevated number of seniors proclaimed overall good health.  In addition, to the health of the seniors, Minnesota has also made a commitment to providing a good percentage of its land to green space, which encourages an increase in physical fitness of this city.  Minnesota’s commitment to their senior population is a prime example of why it was noted to be one of the healthiest cities in the world.

Based on all of the information above, where would you choose to live? These top 5 cities can be very influential to other cities trying to make the list.  With careful planning, it would seem possible that most of the places that we live in have the potential of becoming on the top of this list and making us have a healthier planet.

References

http://www.mn.gov/governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-62442

http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20131217-living-in-the-worlds-healthiest-cities/3

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