Special Report

The Most (and Least) Healthy Countries in the World


To determine the most and least healthy countries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed infant mortality rates (per 1,000 live births), maternal mortality rates (per 100,000 live births), life expectancy at birth, and the incidence of tuberculosis — a widely-used approximation of disease incidence — in 170 countries from data published by the World Bank. We normalized values using the min-max method and took the geometric mean to compare countries.

Up-to-date health measures comparable globally are often very limited. We only considered data that was available for at least 75% of the countries on our list, and we excluded countries with fewer than 250,000 people. We used data for the most recent year available.

In addition to health measures used in the ranking, we collected data on access to health services. We looked at the share of a country’s population with access to clean water, clean air, and electricity — all data came from the World Bank.

We also reviewed per capita health expenditure by public and private sources, as well as adult literacy rates, unemployment rates, population counts, and smoking rates. All economic data came from the World Bank.