Do you know which is the best country to grow old in? The world is ageing fast and the number of elderly people is growing every year. However, there are big differences among individual countries when it comes to growing old. HelpAge International, an international non-governmental organization that helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination, and overcome poverty; developed the Global AgeWatch Index. This index compares the quality of life of older citizens in different countries all over the world. The Index is also a tool to measure progress and aims to improve the impact of policy and practice on ageing populations. Based on four main domains (income security, health status, capability and enabling environment), the Index is used to create an annual ranking of the best and worst countries to grow old in. To find out what countries are the most elderly-friendly, check out this post with 25 Best Countries To Grow Old In.
Home to more than 46 million people (out of which 11.3 million are over 60), Spain ranks high in the health domain (particularly in life expectancy at 60, healthy life expectancy at 60 and relative psychological well-being). It also ranks high in the enabling environment domain as most of elderly Spaniards are satisfied with their safety and public transport.
Belgium has a population of 11.3 million out of which 2.7 million people are over 60. This small Western European country does well in the enabling environment domain as local elderly are very satisfied with their civic freedom and public transport. The country also ranks high in the health domain, particularly in life expectancy.
One of the smallest countries on the list, Estonia is home to just 1.3 million people out of which 0.3 million are over 60. This Baltic country ranks highest in the capability domain as older Estonians have good access to the labor market and most of them are well-educated (89% of them have secondary or higher education).
The Czech Republic has a population of 10.6 million, including 2.6 million over 60. It ranks highest in the income security domain with 100% pension coverage and the lowest old-age poverty rate in its region. It also ranks high in the capability domain where it excels in the educational attainment – 99.8% of Czech elderly have secondary or higher education.
The only South American country on the list, Chile is home to 18 million people out of which 2.8 million are over 60. It performs best in the health domain, ranking above the regional average for life expectancy indicators and slightly below the average for psychological well-being. Chile also has the highest regional rate of educational attainment among older people.