Two Dutch cities in the top 5 of the World’s Healthiest Cities Index

Two Dutch cities in the top 5 of the World’s Healthiest Cities Index

According to the Spotahome Healthiest Cities Index (HCI), both Amsterdam and Rotterdam belong in the top five this year. The Index scores close to 90 locations all over the world.

World’s Healthiest Cities Index

Staying healthy is easier to do when the city you are in also has healthy social habits, which means not too many fast-food restaurants, clean air and green space, amongst other things.

Spotahome decided to find out what exactly a healthy city is by means of an index. The HCI scores cities according to 10 factors, any city lacking more than one data point is excluded, leaving 89 countries ranked in the 2018 edition.

The following factors were used to score cities:

  • Average gym rating
  • Annual sunshine hours
  • Life expectancy at birth
  • Fast-food outlets
  • Obesity in adults
  • Annual vacation days
  • Work-life balance
  • Air and water quality
  • Green space
  • Electric car charging points

For each of these categories, the latest data available is used, such as the UBS Global Cities Ranking 2018 for the annual vacation days factor and the OECD Better Life Index for work-life balance. Once collected, data is standardised, resulting in a number between 0 and 10 for each factor. The average of all 10 factors determines the rank of a city.

Data that is applicable to a whole country is applied to all the cities in that particular country in the Index. The results of three of the ten factors in the Index are applicable to a country rather than a particular city. These factors are work-life balance, life expectancy at birth and obesity in adults.

Amsterdam takes first place

The Dutch capital, Amsterdam, has managed to come out on top, taking first place on the HCI. The Dutch city performs particularly well when it comes to work-life balance and electric car charging points, and scores an average of 6,97 over the 10 categories.

Another Dutch city also scored extremely well on the HCI, ranking in 4th place / joint 3rd place with Munich. That city was Rotterdam, and it scored highly on the fast-food outlets factor and work-life balance. Both Rotterdam and Munich scored 6,60 on average.

Top 10 healthiest cities

As for the other cities in the HCI, the following made it into the top 10.

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. Oslo, Norway
  3. Munich, Germany
  4. Rotterdam, Netherlands
  5. Berlin, Germany
  6. Tallinn, Estonia
  7. Vienna, Austria
  8. Adelaide, Australia
  9. Helsinki, Finland
  10. Perth, Australia

In the top 10, Vienna and Adelaide were tied with an average score of 6,31. Helsinki and Perth were also tied with an average score of 6,30.

For more information, please see the Healthiest Cities Index.  

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Marjorina Bornsson 15:14 | 16 August 2018

Amsterdam and Rotterdam being in the top ten of the healthiest cities is rather surprising. It casts a shadow on the quality of the score.