World’s Healthiest Countries

7. Denmark

Danes pay between 42% and 59% of their incomes in taxes; about 8% of taxes goes to pay for the country’s universal health care coverage. Sadly, the Danish health care system isn’t super efficient. Long waits to see a doctor are common. The country’s physician density, 2.93 per 1,000 people, is one of the lowest on the list. Preventing the country from ranking higher but solidly placing it in the top 10 is the country’s healthy life expectancy, or 69 for males and 71 for females.

8. Canada

Canada has the list’s lowest number of doctors per capita, or 2.1 for every 1,000. Still, Canadians enjoy one of the world’s longest life expectancies and one of the lowest TB rates, or 3.6 per 100,000 people. A relatively high infant mortality rate, 5 deaths per 1,000 live births, also lands Canada in spot eight

9. Austria

Austria’s ranking was negatively affected by the fumes and smog polluting its air. The country’s TB prevalence, 8.8 per 100,000 people, also kept the country from scoring higher. Austria did have a good infant mortality rate (4 deaths per 1,000 live births) and physician density (3.38 per 1,000 people) solidifying its position in the top 10.

10. Netherlands

Though the Netherlands is thought by many to offer one of the world’s highest standards of living, the country failed to crack the list’s top five. Its ranking was adversely affected by high pollution rates. The highly urbanized, densely populated nation suffers from water, air and soil contamination. Working in its favor, the country has a low TB rate, or 5.4 for every 100,000 people. The country’s healthy life expectancy, 70 for men and 73 for women, is average for the countries on the list.

11. United States

The U.S. spends over 15% of its gross domestic product on health care–with little to show for it. In 2006, almost 16% of the population lacked health insurance. Still, of the 15 countries on the list the U.S came out on top when measuring infant mortality rate. The country also has the second-highest healthy life expectancy. What’s more, air pollution is relatively low, and the U.S. boasts one of the world’s lowest TB rates.

12. Israel

Plagued by respiratory problems or concerned about clean air? Steer clear of Israel. It’s got one of the highest levels of air pollution of the countries on our list. You won’t be lacking vitamin D in this sunny country, however; it’s one of the world’s leaders in solar energy use. Also working for it: the list’s highest physician density rate, or 3.37 for every 1,000 people. Israel’s healthy life expectancy stood at 70 for males and 72 for females, average for the countries on our list.

13. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has one of the list’s lowest healthy life expectancies–66 for men and 71 for women. The country’s less than stellar sanitation coverage and its TB prevalence rate, 10.8 per 100,000 people, prevented a higher ranking. Working in its favor? One of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates. In 1990, the number of deaths per 1,000 live births stood at 13. It’s now 3.