What Are The Best Cities In The World To Die? The UK Tops The Quality Of Death Index, So Let's Pack Our Bags & Head For England
Although we may not think about death as being an experience with quality assertion, the quality of care we get before or nearing death probably has an impact in how we remember our lives — not to mention the fact that it can also tell us a thing or two about our country's healthcare system. In order to determine where the best countries to die in are, The Economist released its second annual Quality of Death Index, which rates the palliative care available to elders in 80 different nations around the world. The report also includes information about early detection and social support systems that are in place around death in order to get a more holistic picture. Useful stuff, no?
The annual report, which is commissioned by Singaporean organization The Lien Foundation, presents the results of research that included interviews with more than 120 palliative care experts. It also features an assessment ranking in five weighted categories including environment, care affordability, human resources, quality of care, and community engagement. The biggest finding? The wealthier a country is, the better the availability and quality of palliative care.
Wondering how the rankings came in? Head over to The Economist to see the full list and report. In the meantime, here are the 10 best countries to die in.
France came in at number 10 on the Quality of Death report. As a European nation with a lot of social welfare, this isn't surprising in the least.
9. The United States
The gold ol' U.S. of A came in ninth place, which is actually a fairly respectable position. Our Medicare system helped us to score so highly, but as the report pointed out, affordability of healthcare is still a huge issue in our country.
The Netherlands being a part of any social welfare ranking should never be a surprise, as it's been called the most socially liberal nation in Europe by many. Definitely consider going to the Netherlands in your old age for good care!
German took seventh place. Although the report didn't focus on this country's specific policies, they are one of the leading nations in the NGO European Association for Palliative Care, contributed to their high score.
What led to Taiwan's inclusion in the top 10? States the report, "Among other factors, Taiwan benefits from the country’s National Health Insurance, which determines insurance coverage and the level of reimbursement for specific services."
Belgium came in fifth place on the Quality of Death Index, and just a simple Google search can tell you why: The amount of senior care services that exist in this one nation is astounding. It shows how much they care about their elders.
European countries are already known for their social welfare policies, so it's no surprise to see Ireland near the top of the list.
3. New Zealand
New Zealand came in third place, making it the sixth Asian-Pacific country to rank in the top 20. This sweep is because of crucial governmental policies that have become more liberal in the past few years; these policies have put more focus on before-death care in these nations.
Australia is ranked number two in the best countries in the world to die in. I really can't blame them; who wouldn't want to go down under for great social policies and amazing surf?
1. The United Kingdom
The UK topped the charts in the first Quality of Death report and once again received first place in this year's ranking. "The UK’s leading position reflects the attention paid to palliative care in both public and non-profit sectors," the report says. There is a massive hospice movement happening across the pond right now, which The Economist emphasized really helped the UK's bid for the top spot. I guess this means we should all move to the UK in our old age!