The Global AgeWatch Index has found that Norway is the place where the elderly enjoy the best quality of life for income security, health, personal capability and ‘an enabling environment’, as figures suggest that 21% of the global population will be over 60 by 2050.
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The research, released on the UN International Day of Older Persons, was led by organisation HelpAge International and looked at 96 countries, assessing income security, health, personal capability and an enabling environment.
Toby Porter, chief executive of HelpAge International said, “The unprecedented rate and speed of population ageing presents policy makers with a challenge. Only if they act now will they have a chance to meet the needs of their citizens and keep their economies going.”
As life expectancy continues to rise, the index ranks Norway as the best place for old people to live in, followed by Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Germany.
The UK ranked just behind New Zealand, which closed the top ten. According to the report, 1.4 billion of people will be over 60 by 2030.
At the other end, the worst place for an older person is said to be Afghanistan, preceded by Mozambique, the West Bank and Gaza and Malawi.
However, Latin American countries, for instance Mexico and Peru, were praised for the measure of taxes-paid social pensions for low-income old people. China also introduced such measures for 16% of its older population. Instead of being a burden, social pension(s?) are said to tackle inequality and support growth, as families can spend more.
“Social pensions are a game changer for older people,” said Porter.
“Rising numbers of older people mean governments need to radically re-think their approach to later life.
Photo: Garry Knight via flickr
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