According to economists, money doesn’t always buy health and happiness.
Investment firm LetterOne recently published a new study, the Global Wellness Index that analyzed which countries were the healthiest and happiest. Researchers took at 151 nations and pulled data from the World Heath Organization, the United Nations and the World Happiness Report.
While Canada came in first place, the rest of the top 10 came from smaller countries: Oman, followed by Iceland, Philippines, Maldives, Netherlands Singapore, Laos, South Korea and Cambodia.
The study honed in on metrics like obesity, depression, blood pressure, alcohol and tobacco use, life expectancy, happiness and government spending on healthcare, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest economies struggled to make the top 25. The UK placed 15th, lagging behind because of high obesity rates, while Germany, France and Japan didn’t even crack the top 25 due to high rates in high blood pressure.
The US — the world’s largest economy — came in 37th place due to rates of obesity and depression.
“While rich countries tend to lead, many emerging economies score more highly than some advanced nations. This is down to huge increases in life expectancy in these countries in recent years,” Richard Davies, a co-author of the Global Wellness Index, told Bloomberg.
Meanwhile Davies also hopes this study will get people to take a look at a country’s measure of success in different ways, not just through economic growth.
“The low scores for countries like South Africa — an economy lauded for its growth rate in the 2000s — shows that simply ranking an economy based on traditional economic metrics like GDP alone can miss important parts of the story when it comes to the well-being of a nation,” he said.
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