A new study has revealed Canberra is the fifth healthiest city in the world to live in, while Australia was ranked the 27th country worldwide.
Based on ranking factors of life expectancy, cost of healthy foods, deaths caused by air pollution, crime rates, hours of sunlight per year and obesity levels, the report by Money.co.uk ranked the top 40 healthiest places to live worldwide.
Coming in behind Valencia, Madrid, Lisbon and Vienna, Canberra performed well due its low crime rate. Canberra is one of the safest cities worldwide, with violent crime rates being significantly below the national average. The capital also has access to one of the best health care systems in the world and has a total of 2,813.7 sunlight hours per year, ranking it as the top Australian city to live in.
Following behind Canberra, Adelaide was ranked 11th overall, whilst Brisbane secured the 19th spot and Perth the 31st. Despite having great healthcare, air quality and sunlight, Perth’s crime rate was significantly greater compared to Canberra, losing them a higher spot on the index. Sydney was ranked 40th, while Melbourne was missing from the list.
Overall, Australia ranked 27th on the healthiest country index, scoring highly in quality of air and greater life expectancy. While there was a spike in pollution due to bushfires and dust storms, Australia generally has some of the cleanest air and one of the best health care systems worldwide.
The report revealed that the top scoring locations are at the forefront of fighting climate change by enforcing new legislation, such as investing in ways to reduce their air pollution.
Many countries high on the index, such as Spain, have a greater emphasis on the social aspect food provides, including the preparing, cooking, and eating process of a meal. This in turn results in cleaner eating habits and smaller portion sizes. Combined with an active lifestyle, obesity levels are significantly lower in the leading countries (Spain, Portugal and Austria), increasing life expectancy.
Most importantly, cities who prioritise mental wellbeing and encourage social interactions are healthier and happier, ranking them higher on the list.