On the UN’s International Day of Older Persons, the latest Global Age Watch Index underlines international variation in experiences of old age.
Today, Help Age International publish the latest edition of their Global Age Watch Index. For 96 countries, and 91% of the world’s population over 60, the index captures the standard of living of older people. The index combines 13 indicators, incorporating income security, health status, education and employment, and whether a country provides an enabling environment for older people.
The figures from the Global Age Watch Index highlight that economic development alone is not enough to ensure that individuals enjoy a comfortable later life. While the top 20 ranked countries are predominantly the Western European, North American and Australasian nations, some of the countries which make the top 40 are more surprising. Mexico has risen 26 places since 2013, to be ranked 30th in 2014 thanks to its new policies to provide income security for retirees. Costa Rica (26), Ecuador (33) and Thailand (36) also rank highly.
A number of European Nations rank poorly. Greece (73) lags behind Nepal (70), India (71) and Mongolia (72). The Ukraine (82) ranks even lower, behind Ghana (81).
The Global Age Watch Index takes a holistic approach to ageing. Social connections, civic freedom and physical safety are given as much weight as pension income, GDP per capita and the poverty rate in old age. The key implication of this year’s results are clear; there are some things money can’t buy, and one of them is happiness in old age.
This year’s Global Age Watch Index features in the ILC-UK’s upcoming Fact Pack; Europe’s Ageing Demography. For more information and to register for its upcoming launch as part of our popular Population Patterns Seminar Series, supported by Partnership, click here.