Spain. A country synonymous with sandy beaches, tapas, flamenco and bullrings. And then there’s the family holidays.

Going back to 2019 (we’ll not mention 2020) Brits alone holidaying in Spain totaled 18 million! The overall number of tourists in 2019 ended up at a staggering 83.7 million, a rise of 1% on 2018 meaning a 7th consecutive rise.

So, we know about holidays in Spain, we love the sunshine, the feeling of relaxing stress free around the pool, and enjoying fine Mediterranean cuisine.

But what about those of us who live here full time, both expats and nationals alike? Sure we all still enjoy the sun, although you end up hiding from it during August, traditionally the hottest month, and it’s a blessed relief on the odd occasion when it rains. Likewise we are privileged to be able to live in an atmosphere of serenity where great food, fresh fruit and amazing wines are virtually on top if you want them.

And despite the likes of fast food restaurants, cheap cigarettes and a laid back lifestyle (for some of us), Spain tops the charts for the healthiest place to live in not just Europe, but the world!


A typical sight in the old town of Marbella

In an extensive piece of medical research, a vast amount of key health data covering twenty years has just been analyzed by and published in The Lancet. The research looked at 16 European countries plus the USA, Australia and Canada in detail, pinning down the healthiest places to live.  

The Bloomberg Global Health Index takes a look at several of these factors to rank the healthiest (and unhealthiest) countries in the world. The factors that are used to rank the countries include:

  • Health risks (tobacco use, high blood pressure, obesity)
  • Availability of clean water
  • Life expectancy
  • Malnutrition
  • Causes of death

Using these factors, the index ranks each country out of a score of 100. According to this, Spain is considered to have the healthiest people globally, with a score of 92.75. Spain boasts a life expectancy of 83.5 years, which is expected to rise to 85.8 by 2040 and be the highest in the world.

Although Spain is known for smoking, drinking a lot of wine, and staying up late, their everyday diet and lifestyle choices set them above the rest. A Mediterranean lifestyle follows these key principles: sociable meal times, a balanced diet and an emphasis on walking as a mode of transport, which helps to lower deaths caused by pollution. Sociable meal times have been found to decrease the risk of obesity and also promote a healthy mental wellbeing. Having a dedicated time to connect with family and friends acts as a mood booster, produces endorphins and increases the overall wellbeing of the population. 

Spain also has the highest percentage of walkers in Europe, with 37% walking to work instead of driving (only 6% of Americans walk to work). Additionally, Spain’s universal healthcare program is very successful, and they have managed to lower their rate of preventable deaths to 45.4 preventable deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

The people of Spain live by the saying, “Trabajamos para vivir, no vivimos para trabajar” meaning “we work to live, not live to work”.


Work hard, play hard

So, hopefully we’ve convinced you that it’s healthy to live in Spain! But we said it’s also the best place to live didn’t we? Ok, so we might be biased, but how will you know for certain unless you take the plunge? Go on…we know you want to!

CLICK BELOW TO START YOUR NEW LIFE ON THE SUNNY COSTA DEL SOL



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