HelpAge International released its annual Global AgeWatch Index, which focuses on life of today’s aging population around the world. The ranking offered by the report is based on various factors like income security, health status, enabling environment and capability.
Norway is heading the list this year with an almost perfect score of 93.4 points out of 100. The country demonstrated top performance across almost all categories. However, its weak spot seems to be the health status of its population aged 60+, where it is 16th in the world.
Second on the ranking is Sweden, followed by Switzerland on the 3rd spot. In fact, if we go further down the list we will see that the majority of countries in the top 20 are located in Europe. Some of the few exceptions are Canada (4), the United States (8), Japan (9), New Zealand (10) and Australia (13).
Best countries for people aged 60 and beyond:
- United States
- New Zealand
At the bottom of the index are the so-called worst countries for elderly people. Afghanistan takes the lead here since it has secured the last spot in almost any category. The country’s overall rank value is barely 3.7 points or 89.7 points less compared to those of Norway. Along with Afghanistan, Mozambique, West Bank & Gaza and Malawi were also listed at the bottom of the 2014 ranking.
Unfortunately, the UAE was not included in the index this year because of lack of data on some criteria. Nevertheless, HelpAge did reveal some basic statistics about the elderly population in the Gulf country. According to it, the average life expectancy of people aged 60 in the United Arab Emirates is 20 years. In addition, elderly people account for barely 1% of the entire population in the country today. HelpAge predicts that by 2030 it will increase by 2.6%.
The report also reveals that the number of people aged 60 and beyond has reached 868 million. That means that the elderly make up 12% of the entire global population in 2014. It is expected that by 2050, they will hit 2.02 billion or around 21% of the global population. Eastern Europe is predicted to witness one of the biggest percentage of aging population – over 30%.
The research concludes by saying that just 50% of today’s elderly population receives a basic pension.