According to an index of the quality of later life in 96 countries, Norway is the best place to grow old.
HelpAge International’s Global AgeWatch Index measures the social and economic welfare of those over 60.
Published on the UN International Day of Older Persons, it ranks Australia, Western Europe and North America highly, and Afghanistan last.
The report predicts that by 2050, 21% of the global population will be over 60.
The index measures four areas – income security, health, personal capability and whether the person lives in an “enabling environment”.
After Norway comes Sweden, closely followed by Switzerland, Canada and Germany.
The report says that by 2050 some 40 countries in the index will have populations where 30% are aged 60 or over.
The UN has said that the number of those aged 60 or over is expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2030.
Several Latin American countries – particularly Mexico and Peru – have leapt up the index for their commitment in ensuring “social pensions” for the poorest older people.
These are tax-financed, non-contributory pensions that ensure a basic income for the most vulnerable.
In Mexico, nearly nine out of every 10 people aged 65 and over receive a social pension.
Because of this, Mexico ranks at 30 on the index, outstripping the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Peru has implemented the Pension 65 program, which provides older people with 250 nuevo soles ($85) every two months.
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