, LONDON, United Kingdom – Oct 1 – Norway is the best place to grow old, according to the latest Global AgeWatch index of 96 countries published on Wednesday, while Afghanistan is the worst.
All but one of the top 10 countries are in Western Europe, North America and Australasia, with Japan the exception at ninth place, according to the ranking which comprises 91 percent of the global population over the age of 60.
Norway tops the index, pushing last year’s number one Sweden into second place in the second year the index has been released.
Unsurprisingly, African countries make up half of the lowest quarter of the index, although Venezuela, Turkey and Serbia are ranked 76th, 77th and 74th respectively.
HelpAge International, the charity which compiled the list, said economic growth in itself was not enough to improve the lives of older people.
“Specific policies need to be put in place to address the implications of ageing,” said the report, published on the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
“Policies on income security in Mexico (30) have lifted it 26 places in the overall rankings since last year despite being less wealthy than Turkey (77).”
The index is based on 13 indicators grouped into four areas: income security; health status; capability, which includes employment and educational status; and the enabling environment, including issues such as physical safety.
Some countries fare better than others in different areas. Japan tops the rankings when it comes to health, while Switzerland has the best environment for older people.