A new analysis, which looks at the health of people residing in European capitals, has found Copenhagen to be Europe’s healthiest capital city. The ranking, which compares 46 capital cities in Europe, includes variables such as life expectancy; air and water quality; the proportion of GDP allocated to healthcare; the cost of fruit and vegetables; CO2 emissions; the prevalence of walking or cycling to work and the quality of green spaces.

Copenhagen was found to be Europe’s healthiest capital city overall, a ranking that owed much to the city’s CO2 emissions and drinking water as well as its cycling and walking culture. has calculated the healthiest capital city in Europe using an expanse of data, collected from a number of sources including Numbeo, HPI ThinkTank, World Population Review, World Bank Group and Index Mundi.


They collected data for 10 variables relating to health, which were each ‘ranked’ out of 46. (Because a total of 46 European capital cities were considered in this accumulative process).

The top 10 variables were: fitness club, the monthly fee for 1 adult; life expectancy; air quality; water quality; overall quality of life; per cent of GDP allocated to healthcare; cost of 5 fruit or vegetables; CO2 emissions; walk or cycle to work; quality of green spaces.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, two Nordic capital cities make the top five, Copenhagen (Denmark) and Helsinki (Finland) respectively. This is in line with similar studies which have often found Nordic countries and cities to be among the happiest, greenest and safest places to live in Europe.


“Not only are these variables representative of our physical wellbeing”, comments GP Clinical Lead at Dr Daniel Atkinson, “but they also relate to our psychological health. The quality of green spaces is a prime example of this. People need decent green spaces in their cities because they’re oxygen-rich, of benefit to the respiratory system and can be prime locations to exercise freely.”

“Psychologically, however, they’re also very significant – one study demonstrates this by revealing that 90% of people feel green spaces play a positive role in relation to their happiness and wellbeing. Other variables such as the overall quality of life, quality of air, quality of water and C02 emission index all relate to our psychological health as well as physical.”

While Baku (Azerbaijan) was found to be an affordable city for things like organic food and the cost of a gym membership, it failed to score highly among other variables such as CO2 emissions, air quality, water quality and health expenditure.