Canada is near the top of the class on this indicator, with 88.5 per cent of Canadians reporting their health to be good or very good. Only the U.S. ranks ahead of Canada on this indicator—90 per cent of Americans report good or very good health. Both countries are well above the 17-country average of 76 per cent.
Interestingly, Japan has the lowest proportion of citizens reporting good or very good health status, and yet the longest life expectancy, one of the lowest premature mortality rates, the second-lowest mortality rate due to cancer, and the lowest rates of mortality due to circulatory diseases, diabetes, and mental illness. While Japan’s health outcomes continue to improve, the perceived health status of the population continues to fall. Between 2004 and 2007, the proportion of Japanese reporting their health to be good or very good dropped 6 percentage points, from 39 per cent to 33 per cent. One reason for Japan’s poor showing on this indicator could be its older, aging population—as noted earlier, older people are more likely to report poorer health.
Japan is the only country to score a “D” on this indicator. Canada and 11 of its peer countries earn “A” grades while France, Germany, Finland, and Italy all earn “B”s.