On July 16, 2013, Carmelo Flores Laura made news by becoming the oldest
person in the world. The previous record holder was a 115-year-old Japanese
woman, Misao Okawa. According to Bolivia’s public records, Laura had reached the
tender age of 123. These kinds of reports are becoming more commonplace, not
just because of advances in modern medicine, but because of innovations in
technology as well as upgrades in how birth certificates are maintained.
Carmelo Flores Laura:
While being the oldest living person may not be one of your life’s goals,
extending your life and enhancing its quality are probably important to you.
Although some people attribute a long life to genetics and luck, in actuality,
one's culture and quality of life play a big part as well. Therefore, people in
certain parts of the world tend to live longer than people in other locales. So,
where do the people reside who enjoy a longer expectancy of life?
15) France - Life Expectancy:
As a key member of the European Union, France’s economy and politics always
have had a significant impact on European trade and tourism. The country's
population is diverse, and includes people from such geographic locales as North
Africa and Indochina. While most of the country still holds loose ties to
Catholicism, the practice of Islam has brought France's Muslim believers into
focus as well, particularly with respect to certain controversial bans - such as
the wearing of veils by women who practice the Islam faith. The veil, or hijab,
covers everything except the hands and face. Besides it diverse representation
demographically, France also spends 11.9 percent of its GDP on health care and
supports roughly 3.5 physicians per 1,000 citizens.
In addition, the French are notably associated with their cuisine, which
features rich fats, decadent chocolates and a varying list of wines. Many people
in the country still smoke heavily, despite the warnings and dangers connected
with the habit. At first glance, you might not think this kind of life style
would be conducive to a long and healthy life.
However, medical researchers have also concluded that moderate red wine
consumption can improve cardiovascular health and chocolate is a proven
antioxidant. In addition, certain fats, when considered healthy, can lead to
lowering unhealthy levels of fat or cholesterol. The French people also enjoy a
more laid-back pace - savoring the simple pleasures in life. Perhaps, that is
why France was home to the longest-living individual up until 1997.
14) Jersey - Life Expectancy:
Jersey is a an island state that represents what is left of the dukedom of
Normandy. Located off France's Normandy coast, Jersey is a dependency ruled by
the UK. Officially known as the Baliwick of Jersey, the dependency of the
British crown is the largest of the Channel Islands. The island state maintains
its own legal, financial, and judicial systems and is considered a
self-governing democracy, overseen by a constitutional monarchy. Therefore,
this particular "Jersey" is not related to the "Jersey" in the U.S. Also,
because of its status, Jersey is not a member of the European Union (EU).
However, the dependency does maintain a relationship with the EU, and is
permitted to practice free trade under its own name.
Farmland covers over half of the island. Therefore, agriculture is one of the
primary ways of making a living. However, financial services also contribute
to the revenue generated in the UK-dependent territory. For its size, Jersey has
significant buying power per citizen, and its standard of living is equal, for
the most part, to that of the U.K. Jersey also brings in a fair share of tourism
as its primary language has been English since the early part of the 20th
century. One of the events that draws the interest of tourists is the Battle of
Flowers, which features a carnival of flower floats and ends with a fireworks
finale. Evidently, people live long on Jersey because of its high standard of
living and the residents have a penchant for having fun.
13) Canada - Life Expectancy:
Retaining ties to the British crown, Canada has been an independently
governed federal dominion since 1867. The country, which ranks 11th on the human
development scale, strives to support an ethnically and culturally diverse
populace. Canada also takes a strong stance when it comes to supporting its
citizens educationally and economically. While the standard of living in Canada
often parallels closely with its southern neighbor, the U.S., the country
surpasses other developed nations in terms of health care services, trade
networking, natural resources, and its economy.
Canada, as a result, has the
ninth highest per capita income in the world, and an international reputation
- Life Expectancy: 81.59 years
This postage stamp country boasts the highest per capita GDP worldwide, and
the lowest unemployment rate among its 35,000 citizens. The country also has the
smallest external debt and is known as a tax haven. Despite its size - 62 square
miles of landlocked countryside, Liechtenstein is divided into 11 separate
The alpine nation draws plenty of tourists, many of whom enjoy
winter sports activities. Visitors also like the novelty associated with
visiting the world's smallest German-speaking county.
11) Italy - Life Expectancy:
81.95 years Italy, the noted seat of Western civilization, is home to the ancient city of
Rome, the country's capital. Italy's cultural and political influence prevail
throughout Europe, especially with respect to the country's industries. Auto
manufacturing and fashion design figure prominently into the country's economy.
In turn, citizens enjoy a higher quality of life and a longer life expectancy.
What is striking about the country is its rich diversity, thanks to the
country’s varied regional departments, each which possess a cultural character
of its own. While Italy is well-recognized for its contributions to the visual
and performing arts and advances in science and engineering, the country is
perhaps best known for its delicious and refined Mediterranean and Tuscan
Therefore, Italians enjoy pasta, fish and vegetables along with olive oil and
seasoned sauces. Fresh food is prized and its emphasis in cooking results in a
variety of healthy and flavorful choices. Italians, then, often shun processed
foods in favor of organic and classic entrees. These preferences give Italy a
reputation in the international marketplace - a venue where cold cuts, cheese,
and wine are considered global delicacies. Italian methods of preparing coffee,
too, have become a phenomenon. Both espresso and cappuccino have become
trend-setting drinks in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
10) Australia - Life Expectancy:
Holding the title of world’s smallest continent, the land down under is now
enjoying a surge of popularity in the global market due, in part, to trade and
business reforms, which were begun in the 1980s.
Aboriginal people have lived on the country and continent for many millennia,
but its settlement by the English is relatively new. Australia also possesses
some of the harshest terrain and most dangerous wildlife in the world. Often
people joke in the tourism trade that "everything in Australia is trying to kill
However, that being said, the government still pays careful attention to the
needs of its people, particularly in the areas of education and health care.
Therefore, public service announcements (PSAs) are often directed toward public
health campaigns, and preventative care is frequently encouraged. Mental and
emotional health are considered just as important as one's physical well-being
to many of the country’s inhabitants. As a result, the medical needs of people
are taken seriously.
Both exploration and mining are major economic activities, and therefore lend
to the country's financial prosperity. Even during the recent global recession,
Australia remained economically secure. Abundant natural resources also
contribute to financial stability.
9) Hong Kong - Life Expectancy:
Hong Kong holds a dual language status, with its official languages being
both Cantonese and English. The languages reflect Hong Kong’s diverse and
troubled history as both a Chinese holding and occupied territory of the U.K.
Since 1997, Hong Kong has officially been part of the country of China, and
currently experiences a good deal more autonomy than it did under the British
crown. The country is strong economically and continues to make strides in the
financial and technological sectors, all which are aided by a free market - one
that is not affected by the socialist stance of the Chinese.
Covering only 426 square miles, Hong Kong is home to 7 million people, all
which also makes it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
However, the quality of life is high as the country is a key international
player in the financial industry. The country's low taxes and service-oriented,
capitalist economy contribute to its prosperity. Plus, the country's
currency--the Hong Kong dollar--is the eighth most traded currency in the world.
Despite enduring two economic downturns, Hong Kong still remains economically
viable, evidenced by its minimum wage, compulsory pensions and other
labor-related amendments and reforms. The country is currently the 8th most
expensive country in which to live for expatriates. However, that particular
fact does not stymie or stop immigration.
- Life Expectancy: 82.28 years
A neighbor of number 12 ranked Liechtenstein, this idyllic alpine country is
backed by an economy that is notably bolstered by a healthy financial sector.
Swiss banks, which are defined by affluence and wealth, maintain an impartial
role in the world of business. The country also conveys a neutral view
Switzerland has not been involved in an international conflict
since 1815. The origin of the Red Cross, Switzerland has worked diligently in
many countries to promote unity and ongoing communications. Even though it has
only been a member of the UN since 2002, Switzerland has been instrumental in
promoting peace in other countries.
In turn, peace-loving country is home to several historical sites where
well-known and influential treaties have been signed. One of the cities used for
these meetings as been Geneva. Switzerland is the home of a large number of
Nobel Prize winners as well. In fact, more people have won Nobel prizes, per
capita, than any other place worldwide. Prize winners have worked in the fields
of research and development, and have also been recipients of the Peace prize.
The diet of the country combines both French and German cuisines and is also
influenced by recipes from immigrants from other parts of the world.
7) Guernsey - Life Expectancy:
Like Jersey, Guernsey is a Bailiwick, making it a British crown dependency.
It is another member of the Channel Islands that lies off the coast of the
French coast of Normandy. Because Guernsey is considered a common travel area of
the UK, it boasts a healthy tourist trade. Like Jersey, Guernsey is not a part
of the European Union (EU), However, the dependency does enjoy free trade as a
recognized member of the European community. Importing and exporting activities
are conducted in Guernsey's many ports.
The country enjoys warm, sunny summers and mild, rainy winters. While it has
plenty of farmland, Guernsey makes most of its income from the financial and
tourism sectors. Hotels therefore rival banks as both are considered Guernsey's
most prosperous businesses. One of the island's famous hotels is the Duke of
Normandy Hotel in St. Peter's Port - known to have accommodated a number of
famous guests, including British actor, Robert Oliver Reed.
One of the unique features of Guernsey is its real estate market, which is
split between local and open market properties. While open market properties are
bought or held like most real estate, local market residences are reserved for
native born citizens, or for people who have obtained a housing license to live
in the country. By using these kinds of controls, non-citizens are prevented
from owning property. For instance, housing licenses are only held for four-year
periods, and are only issued after an applicant meets certain stipulations,
including employment with a specified Guernsey employer.
6) Andorra - Life Expectancy:
The principality of Andorra lies in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains, bordered
by both Spain and France. Its neighbors have had a great influence on the
culture of this nation, which is the 6th smallest country on the European
continent. While the official language is Catalan, Spanish, French and
Portuguese are regularly spoken as well. Comprised of approximately 85,000
inhabitants, Andorra spends 7.5 percent of its GDP on health care annually,
which covers 3.72 physicians per 1000 residents. In fact, the small country
boasts more doctors per capita than France.
Although Andorra is not a member of the European Union (EU), the Euro is its
primary currency. Andorra is not only a noted tax haven, it also receives 10.2
million visitors annually, thereby making it a desirable tourist spot. As a
result, Andorra's citizens enjoy a high quality of life and a healthy economy.
Folk music and dances figure prominently into Andorra’s culture as well as
religion. Andorra’s one national holiday falls on September 8th, and celebrates
Our Lady of Meritxell, the patron saint of the country. According to legend, Our
Lady of Meritxell is the Virgin Mary, personified by a miraculous statue. The
stone figure was discovered beside a rose plant, blooming out of season.
Andorra apparently has not seen a real need for defense as its annual defense
budget in the 60s was only $4.90.
5) San Marino - Life Expectancy:
San Marino is a 24 square mile microstate whose 30,000 inhabitants are
surrounded by the country of Italy. Holding the smallest population of any
member of the International Council of Europe, the country is dedicated to
seeking continuing improvements in the the areas of communication and human
development. A constitutional republic, the small country is considered to be
the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world.
Originally, San Marino served as a monastic community, formed by Marinus in
Alba in 257 A.D. The area was established as a nation in 301 A.D. San Marino's
books of law were codified in the 1500s, all which comprise six works in Latin
called the Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini. The country has been able to
last as long as it has, primarily because of its out-of-the-way location in the
San Marino boasts a budget surplus, no national debt, and therefore a
prosperous economy - comparable to, if not better, than European nations many
times its size. San Marino's economy is driven by tourism as well as financial
services, all which gives its inhabitants a higher quality of life. The
university in San Marino is also a prized center of learning and is known for
its prestigious programs in music and science.
The university is unique in that it offers courses that are taught in
Esperanto. Esperanto, itself, is a language that was first introduced by Dr.
L.L. Zamenhof in 1887. The second language is designed so people can speak
different native languages while maintaining their own language and cultural
identity. Many learners report that Esperanto is a very easy to learn.
4) Singapore - Life Expectancy:
Like Hong Kong,
Singapore has an unusual and varied history, experiencing
varying periods of rule by different nations. The country's reign under the
British crown was one of the most influential, and left a mark on the culture of
the country as well as its spoken languages. English is spoken as well as
several Asian languages. Also, Singapore is one of the five busiest ports in the
world. Its diverse economy is fueled by technology, electronics, the service
industry, finance, tourism and trade. Overcoming a past, defined by poverty and
violence, Singapore is now focused on becoming the model city of the future.
Singapore's rich cultural heritage can be enjoyed in museums and temples,
including its botanical gardens, which are also a showcase for the orchid, or
the national flower. High level botanical research and horticultural activities
are conducted at the gardens, where tourists can take home beautiful specimens
To encourage international tourism, Singapore relaxes the tax laws for
foreigners. The country is also known for its exciting hotels, including its
newest tower featuring an infinity pool, a rooftop pool, with no visible
boundary, whose water seems to flow endlessly.
3) Japan - Life Expectancy:
Known as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is home to the world’s 4th largest
economy. Its GDP lends the country considerable weight in the global marketplace
as well as gives its citizens a better-than-average quality of life.
While the country formerly fell behind in the area of mental health, recent
reforms have enabled health care providers to meet all patient health care
needs. Hospitals and clinics use a holistic approach to health while utilizing
the latest innovations in modern technology. Besides offering alternative
medicines, Japan is also a reputed leader in biomedical and pharmacological
research. Given that Japan excels in these areas, it's not surprising that its
citizens enjoy a longer life. In fact, some of the elderly who live on Japan's
outlying islands are said to live well past the age of 100.
Fishing and aquaculture are important to Japan's economy as are the country's
industrial and service sectors. Even in this modern age, fishermen work under
physically exhausting and dangerous conditions, all which means they must stay
in top shape both mentally and physically. However, the physical demands placed
on people in the industry may also, ironically, lead to a longer life. After
all, a sedentary lifestyle typically is not synonymous with a lengthy life.
2) Macau - Life Expectancy:
84.46 years Macau is a special administrative region of China, similar to Hong Kong, its
neighbor lying to the northeast. A former Portuguese colony, Macau became the
last remaining European holding in Asia in 1997 when Hong Kong ceded to China.
Macau, followed, ceding to China in 1999 after Portugal's lease for its trading
port had ended with China. Macau now maintains a high degree of autonomy, and
will remain antonymous until at least 2049 under an agreement instituted with
Macau’s economy is bolstered by manufacturing. However, because of the
country's favorable tax status, it is also highly dependent, in great part, on
gambling and tourism. The country ranks high on the human development index of
Macau's primary deity is its patroness - the goddess Matsu, who watches over
seafarers and fishermen. The name of the country is derived from the name of the
1) Monaco - Life Expectancy:
The Principality of Monaco, which is located along the popular and stylish
French Riviera, is mainly noted for its casino activities. The world renowned
hot spot is the place where the global elite go to flaunt their celebrity and
The city-state's status as a tax haven also makes the principality very
attractive to the very rich. Star-studded Monaco attracts Formula One drivers as
well as actors and affluent business people. The late Grace Kelly was once the
most famous resident of the country. The beautiful actress wed Prince Rainier
III in 1956.
If you hail from one of the countries or dependencies on the aforementioned
list, give yourself a pat on the back. Barring accident or a severe illness, you
have an advantage over your global peers. However, if you are not a resident,
you need not despair as longevity is not necessarily contingent on one's region
or country. For example, the oldest person on record, Carmelo Flores Laura, was
born in Bolivia, a South American country which ranks 161 out of 223 countries
in terms of life expectancy. The 120+ year-old man was born in 1890 - his
baptismal certificate confirming his date of birth. The oldster attributes his
long life to eating the grain quinoa and to taking long walks.
So, while the place where you live can definitely influence longevity, your
personal lifestyle has to be factored into the equation too. By eating right,
getting plenty of exercise, and making friends with your doctor, you, too, may
be able to experience life for 100 years or more. It's also good to know which
countries have the lowest life expectancies. That way, you'll know what not to
do to enjoy a longer life.