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Iceland is the healthiest country in the world according to a new study by the United Nations

By Staff

  • Reykjavík Around two thirds of the Icelandic nation lives in the capital area, on the southwest corner of the country. Dominating the horizon is Hallgrímskirkja church. Photo/Daníel Rúnarsson

Iceland is the healthiest country in the world according to new figures by the United Nations. The new statistics were published in UK Meidcal Journal The Lancet 21 September, and are based on an evaluation of the United Nation's health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The new figures ranks Iceland on top with 85 points out of 100 in an evaluation of UN’s goals, and is followed by Singapore and Sweden with the same scores. The study used data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors project between 1990 and 2015 to estimate the performance of 33 health-related SDG indicators for 188 countries.

At the bottom of the list is the Central African Republic with just 20 points. Vietnam and Belize represent the average score at 59 points.

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UN General Assembly announced in September 2015 a resolution: “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” which is a new framework which is expected to frame UN member state policies over the next 15 years. Health is a core dimension of the SDGs; goal 3 aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”, reports The Lancet.

Health-related indicators — ie, indicators directly pertaining to health services, health outcomes, and environmental, occupational, behavioural, or metabolic risks with well established causal connections to health — are also present in ten of the other 16 goals. Across these 11 goals, there are 28 health-related targets with a total of 47 health-related indicators, according to The Lancet.

Iceland has topped the list of world's most peaceful countries for 10 consecutive years. 

Every year the Institute of Economics and Peace (IPE) calculates the Global Peace Index, a measure of national peacefulness and safety. The index ranks 163 states based on 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators ranging from social stability,  participation in armed conflicts, its relations with neighbouring countries, violence, crime, and the percentage of prison population.

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