If you want to live forever, or at least have a good statistical chance of living for a really long time, hopefully you’re already blessed and currently reside in the Principality of Monaco or are planning to relocate there very soon.
Why Monaco you might be asking yourself right about now? Well, the good people of this tiny city-state can boast some of the longest average lifespans in the world. This means lady folk living in the principality can expect to make it to almost 94 years of age. Men can count on blowing out the candles (although it might take them more than one try) on their birthday cake when they turn 85. The overall average is more than 89 years (89.57 years, to be exact), both sexes combined.
The question begging to be answered here is a simple one: Why is the population of Monaco so long-lived?
For most Europeans, Monaco is a wealthy tax haven. It’s somewhere to gamble away a ridiculous amount of money, park your massive yacht, drink and eat exceptionally well and maybe watch or participate in a little Formula One racing. (You own a V8 race car, right?) Yet despite all of the opulence, excess and luxury that Monaco has to offer the planet’s elite, folks — maybe royalty or superrich would be a better term here — hunkering down on this spot of highly developed shoreline still manage to make it to a very ripe old age.
As it turns out, the key to the longevity of the people calling Monaco home isn’t all that hard to figure out. The country has a stellar public-health service, everyone is rich, the wholesome Mediterranean diet (fish, seafood, lots of veggies, olive oil, rice) is widespread, and there are almost six doctors for every 1,000 people, which is a lot in case you were wondering. (The U.S. has about half that number.)
So the formula is a simple one, and easy to remember: If you want to live a lot longer — a decade longer, on average, compared to the typical American — eat a Mediterranean diet, live in country or state with a good, publicly funded healthcare system, be rich and surround yourself with lots of doctors.
It’s a piece of cake, right? (Put that inappropriately large piece of chocolate cake down right now!) A little exercise and getting out into the sunshine now and then couldn’t hurt your chances either.
Carl Pettit is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.