Countries with the best healthcare in the world

The countries with the best healthcare in the world are Singapore, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea and Norway. We take a look at what else ranked well

10th February 2020

Singapore has been revealed as the country with the best healthcare in the world according to the Legatum Institute, a UK-based think tank and charity focused on lifting people out of poverty.

Now in its 13th year, the institute’s Prosperity Index ranks countries with regards to prosperity and development based on 12 sub-indexes, or ‘pillars’, one of which is health.

Evaluating healthcare

The Prosperity Index sources data from a number of organisations including UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to assess the quality of healthcare systems in 167 countries.

It measures the extent to which people are healthy and can access the necessary services to maintain good health including treatment, care systems, preventative measures, provisions for mental health illness, risk factors and mortality rates.

Countries-with-the-best-healthcare-in-the-world-map
Legatum Institute Singapore has the best healthcare in the world

best healthcare in the world

The following 10 countries have been assessed as providing the best healthcare for their population.

  1. Singapore
  2. Japan
  3. Switzerland
  4. South Korea
  5. Norway
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Iceland
  8. Denmark
  9. Netherlands
  10. Austria

“For a nation to truly prosper, its citizens must have good health. Those who enjoy good physical and mental health report high levels of wellbeing. An effective health infrastructure is critical for sustaining per capita income. Poor health keeps people from fulfilling their potential.”

Baroness Philippa Stroud, CEO of the Legatum Institute

The Legatum Institute draws on years of data to evaluate which countries have improved the most. A number of factors contribute to improving healthcare in a country.

These factors include:

  • Behavioural Risk Factors
  • Preventative Interventions
  • Care Systems
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Longevity

One obvious factor is longevity (life expectancy). The life expectancy of people in Zimbabwe has increased by more than 15 years in the last 10 years, more than any other country.

Countries-with-the-best-healthcare-in-the-world-improvements
Legatum Institute Rwanda has the most improved healthcare

Types of healthcare

Countries around the globe take vastly different approaches to providing healthcare to their population. Many developed countries have universal government-funded healthcare (also known as single-payer healthcare).

In this system, healthcare is available to all citizens regardless of their income or employment status. This system is used by countries such as Australia, Canada, Norway, Singapore and the UK.

Another popular option is to use a universal public insurance system where the government usually withholds part of workers’ wages which goes towards healthcare insurance. This system is used by China, France, Japan and South Korea among others.

Several nations, including the Netherlands and Switzerland, use a universal private health insurance system. Low-income citizens who cannot afford insurance are then subsidised by the government.

A final group of countries, which includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and the USA, uses a non-universal insurance system.

In this case, some citizens have private health insurance, some may receive subsidised public healthcare while some are not insured at all.

best healthcare in the world: complete rankings

The health pillar of Legatum’s report measures a country’s performance in three areas: basic physical and mental health, health infrastructure and preventative care.

NB: Some countries and territories have been excluded due to insufficient data.

RankCountryScore± 2009-19
1Singapore86.62
2Japan86.3-1
3Switzerland84.22
4South Korea84.29
5Norway83.41
6Hong Kong83.1-2
7Iceland82.8-5
8Denmark82.84
9Netherlands82.68
10Austria82.56
11Israel82.40
12Germany82.3-4
13Spain82.1-3
14Malta82.017
15Sweden82.07
16France81.911
17Italy81.8-10
18Australia81.8-9
19Luxembourg81.4-4
20Ireland80.914
21China80.9-1
22New Zealand80.84
23UK80.5-4
24Belgium80.5-10
25Canada80.24
26Finland80.0-5
27Cuba79.95
28Czechia79.8-5
29Cyprus79.7-4
30Portugal79.43
31Taiwan79.4-13
32Slovenia79.24
33Greece79.1-9
34Uruguay78.94
35Thailand78.75
36Costa Rica78.6-8
37Mexico78.2-2
38Seychelles77.9-8
39Malaysia77.611
40Poland77.57
41Uzbekistan77.312
42Vietnam77.319
43Slovakia77.10
44Colombia77.04
45Panama76.81
46Argentina76.35
47UAE76.1-2
48Qatar76.1-9
49Sri Lanka75.50
50Jamaica75.5-9
51Kuwait75.53
52Hungary75.413
53Bahrain75.45
54Mauritius75.46
55Estonia75.323
56North Macedonia75.1-14
57Croatia75.0-13
58Brazil75.0-3
59USA74.9-22
60Peru74.92
61Oman74.8-9
62Turkmenistan74.6-3
63Ecuador74.2-7
64Turkey74.017
65Bulgaria74.09
66Azerbaijan73.729
67Armenia73.79
68Saudi Arabia73.31
69Albania73.2-3
70Chile73.13
71Romania73.0-8
72Serbia73.0-5
73Algeria72.9-3
74Tajikistan72.615
75Venezuela72.5-18
76Belarus72.526
77Trinidad & Tobago72.40
78Nicaragua72.38
79Cabo Verde72.211
80Jordan72.2-9
81Paraguay72.11
82Lebanon72.15
83Honduras71.9-3
84Kazakhstan71.814
85Dominican Rep.71.5-1
86El Salvador71.4-22
87Latvia71.34
88Iran71.3-3
89Kyrgyzstan71.35
90Georgia71.2-15
91Montenegro71.1-19
92Lithuania70.95
93Bosnia & Herz.70.4-25
94Tunisia70.4-15
95Belize69.7-12
96Moldova69.20
97Indonesia69.02
98Guatemala68.9-5
99Cambodia68.912
100Mongolia68.80
101Philippines68.70
102Libya68.4-10
103Russia68.33
104São Tomé & Prínc.67.80
105Rwanda67.512
106Suriname67.03
107Myanmar66.95
108Bolivia66.90
109India66.69
110Morocco66.5-5
111Egypt66.2-8
112Syria65.9-24
113Bangladesh65.71
114Ukraine64.8-7
115Kenya64.54
116Guyana63.9-6
117Ghana63.6-2
118Nepal63.03
119Botswana62.111
120Djibouti62.0-4
121Iraq61.2-8
122Senegal61.0-2
123Laos60.95
124Tanzania60.717
125Eritrea60.3-2
126Namibia60.26
127Pakistan59.9-1
128Zambia59.510
129Gabon58.4-4
130Ethiopia58.115
131Sudan57.9-7
132Comoros57.9-5
133South Africa57.80
134Zimbabwe57.525
135Malawi57.18
136Burundi56.54
137Mauritania56.2-8
138Burkina Faso56.14
139Madagascar55.0-17
140Uganda54.010
141Congo53.8-2
142The Gambia53.7-11
143Mozambique53.23
144Haiti52.8-9
145Benin52.5-8
146Eswatini52.410
147Papua New Guinea52.1-13
148Togo51.90
149Yemen51.5-13
150Niger50.75
151Guinea-Bissau50.10
152Angola50.0-8
153Afghanistan49.9-1
154Mali49.6-7
155Côte d'Ivoire48.6-2
156Dem. Rep. of Congo48.52
157Guinea46.5-8
158Cameroon46.4-1
159Equatorial Guinea45.6-5
160Liberia45.50
161Somalia44.20
162Nigeria43.41
163Lesotho42.7-1
164Sierra Leone42.22
165Central African Rep.35.72
166Chad34.9-2
167South Sudan34.0-2

The latest Legatum Prosperity Index can be downloaded here.


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