Global AgeWatch Index 2014

6th November 2014
1 October 2014 sees the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. Coinciding with this, HelpAge International has launched the Global AgeWatch Index 2014 which ranks 96 countries according to the social and economic wellbeing of older people in four key areas: income security, health, personal capability and an enabling environment.

GAWGlobally Norway (1) tops the Index this year, closely followed by Sweden. Apart from Japan (9) all the top 10 countries are again in Western Europe, North America and Australasia. This year, five new countries have been added to the report - Bangladesh, Iraq, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia.

The worst place for an older person is Afghanistan, ranking at 96. Just above it come Mozambique (95), West Bank and Gaza (94) and Malawi (93).

The Index tells us that economic growth alone will not improve older people’s wellbeing and specific policies need to be put in place to address the implications of ageing. More than one third of countries trail significantly behind the best-performing countries.

This year, the report focuses on pension policy and how this is being managed across the globe. Only half the world’s population can expect to receive even a basic pension in old age and although policies supporting people in later life exist they need to be implemented faster and more systematically.