The Best and Worst Countries To Grow Old According To The Global Age Watch Index

The Top Ten Countries Were All Developed Nations,
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A woman sits inside a basement used as a shelter from the recent shelling in the town of Yasinovataya, eastern Ukraine, September 22, 2014. REUTERS/Marko Djurica (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) Reuters

Norway topped the 2014 Global AgeWatch Index as the best country to grow old. The Index measured the social and economic welfare of old people: those who have reached 60 years olf in 96 countries.Based on the measurement, a report was published during the UN International Day of Older Persons.

The report listed the top countries that are the most favourable for older people and countries that are the least favourable. These conclusions were drawn by analysisng four aspects in the countries with regard to the elderly. According to BBC, the areas analsyed were health, living condition, whether it was an "enabling environment" or not, financial security and health measures.

The report states that by 2050, of the 96 countries analysed, 40 countries would have populations in which nearly 30 per cent would be aged 60 and above. It also predicted that the population of over 60 individuals would be 1.4 billion by 2030.

The top ten countries were all developed nations, including Japan and Norway. The worst countries were the developing and the under developed nations. The report stated that Norway had several provisions for old people such as the government's oil-funded pension scheme, over-60s employment and political representation with the National Council for Senior Citizens.

The report stated that though countries have recognised the need for better health care systems and other necessary requirements that have to be made for the welfare of the older age group has been recognized, much more is yet to be done. It also stated that the process of transformation would take a while.

According to the index in the U.K., more than 23 per cent of the population is over 60 and it is predicted that the number would rise to 28 per cent by 2030. According to the Independent, the report recommends that more countries join and offer, "non-contributory social pensions for older people in poverty, which do not rely on wages or tax payments."

Toby Porter, the chief executive of HelpAge International, said that a large number of old people in a country would require a change in the government's approach to later life.

Professor Asghar Zaidi, who worked on the report said that he hoped politicians would use the findings to better the system and their policies for the older people. Zaidi worked with the Centre for Research on Ageing at the University of Southampton.

The top ten countries according to the index are Norway Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Iceland, United States, Japan, New Zealand. The worst ten countries for the older people were Afgha, Mozambique, Western Bank and Gaza, Malawi, Tanzania, Pakistan, Jordan, Uganda, Zambia and Iraq. Afgha being the worst country and Iraq being higher on the favourable scale among the ten.