Public/Global Health

Study ranks US first in overall health

The index credits the nation’s high level of spending on healthcare, as well as above average rates of immunization for infectious diseases and measles; the world’s second lowest incidence of tuberculosis; good access to sanitation facilities; access to clean water; and a “high level of satisfaction with the beauty of the immediate environment.”

A life expectancy of just 70 years, however, ranks 27th, while the nation ranks 36th for infant mortality. And the U.S. places 60th for its “comparatively high incidence of respiratory disease.”

So, why did France, the leader in healthcare rankings by the World Health Organization because of its universal healthcare system and top-notch prevention efforts, end up in seventh place? 

Thirty percent of French people “report feeling worried during the previous day, well above the global average,” the index reports. And despite the 35-hour work week, “a relatively low 67 percent reported being well-rested.”


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