While many people might automatically assume that the healthiest country in the Americas is the United States, they would be wrong. According to recent statistics released by the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations, the surprising answer is actually Costa Rica.

The small Latin America country ranks 24th globally and came in first on the Latin America list. Taking second and third place were Chile and Cuba.

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One of the reasons that Costa Rica is so healthy is that it offers some of the best healthcare in the region. Residents of Costa Rica are able to choose from two systems. Expats are able to access both the private system as well as the Caja Costarricense de Suguro Social, the government-operated universal healthcare system.

Both the private and government systems are continually upgraded with new equipment, new hospitals, and staff training improvements.

In other countries, including the United States, such improvements typically equal higher costs, yet healthcare prices remain low in Costa Rica compared to those in the United States and even some countries in Europe. Healthcare costs in Costa Rica are approximately one-third to one-fifth of what you would expect to pay in the United States, based on treatment.

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Along with an excellent healthcare system, Costa Rica is also known to boast one of the healthiest lifestyles and diets in the world. It’s little wonder that it also happens to be one of the happiest places in the world.

How Other Countries in the Region Fared on the List

The latest rankings take into account a variety of health indicators, including life expectancy, child mortality, and adult mortality. Evaluating 145 countries, the analysis also took into consideration numerous health risk factors, such as the portion of the population that is overweight, smokes, has high blood pressure, or has high cholesterol.

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Costa Rica currently ranks as the second healthiest country in the Americas, coming in behind Canada. The United States took fifth on the list and ranked 33rd globally. Other countries in Latin America making the top 50 included Mexico and Panama, at 37 and 38.

Ecuador came in at 47, while Argentina squeaked in at 48. Other countries in Latin America did not fare so well. El Salvador finished at 78 of the 145 countries evaluated, while Guatemala ranked at 83 and Bolivia came in at 93.

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Why Costa Rica Is Ranked the Healthiest Country in the Americas

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