A strong health infrastructure which enables citizens to enjoy good physical and mental health leads to higher levels of income and wellbeing. The Health sub-index measures countries’ performance in three areas: basic health outcomes, health infrastructure and preventative care, and physical and mental health satisfaction. As illustrated in the chart on the right, the variables in the sub-index are categorised according to these areas.
The Health sub-index evaluates countries on the basis of indicators that reflect strong health infrastructure, such as rates of immunisation and public expenditure. Countries are also assessed on average life expectancy, rates of infant mortality, and undernourishment. The sub-index further includes measures of individual satisfaction with health, and the effects on health from environmental factors such as water, air quality, and environmental beauty.
Researchers have found that self-reported wellbeing and self-reported health are strongly and significantly correlated to a society’s overall health, further fostering human capital creation, which is favourable to higher economic growth. Mentally and physically healthy citizens are the bedrock of a productive workforce, which in turn increases levels of income per capita.