9 Nov, 2023 @ 15:03
1 min read

Spain has the fourth highest life expectancy in the WORLD – and the third highest cocaine use

THE average life expectancy in Spain is the fourth highest in the world and three years above the international norm. 

Most Spaniards live to at least 83.3, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 

It tied with Australia to take the fourth spot in the report, ‘Health at a Glance’.

Japan took the top spot, at 84.5 years, followed by Switzerland (83.9) and Korea (83.6). 

The worldwide average life expectancy is just 80.3 years, with the UK clocking in just above, at 80.4 years. 

It is believed Spain’s high life expectancy could be linked to universal healthcare provision, the Mediterranean diet and the warm climate.

The Mediterranean could be the key to longevity. Photo: Megan Thomas/Unsplash

A 2018 study by medical journal, The Lancet, revealed Spain could even achieve the world’s highest life expectancy by 2040, at 85.8 years old. 

Following the study’s release, UK newspaper, The Times, predicted that siestas, frequent walks and even more frequent sex could be influencing the longevity of Spaniards.

But the country also ranked high in other categories, including tobacco, cocaine and alcohol use.   

Using data from 2021, the research ranked Spain third in cocaine use, following the UK and Australia. 

In the last year, almost 3% of adults in the UK and Spain admitted to using cocaine in the past year and in Australia this figure rose to 4%. 

However, Spain had the lowest rates of overall opioid use in the world, alongside Israel, with just 0.1% of adults using opioids in the last year. 

According to most recent data, Spain ranked 7th in terms of alcohol use, the average person consuming 10.5 litres per capita. 

In comparison to the international average of 8.6 litres, the UK ranked 11th, with 10 litres per capita. 

Spanish smoking rates were also higher than world averages, with 19.8% of people over 15 smoking daily. 

Compared to the international average of 16%, the UK ranks low, with just 12.7% of people smoking daily. 


Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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