Sweden best country to grow old: UN

Sweden best country to grow old: UN

GENEVA - Agence France-Presse
Sweden best country to grow old: UN

Sweden is known for its generous welfare state and shown as the best country to grow old, according to study. Norway follows Sweden on the list. AP Photo

Sweden is the best place to grow old and Afghanistan the worst, according to a UN-backed study on Oct. 1 that warns many countries are ill-prepared to deal with the old age time bomb.

In a rapidly greying world, the Global AgeWatch Index, the first of its kind, found that Sweden, known for its generous welfare state, followed by Norway and Germany were best equipped to deal with the challenges of an ageing population.

How countries care for their senior citizens will become increasingly important as the number of people over the age of 60 is set to soar from some 809 million today to more than two billion by 2050 when they will account for more than one in five people on the planet, the report said.

The survey ranked many African and South Asian countries as the worst places to be retired, with Tanzania, Pakistan and Afghanistan rounding out the bottom three.

The index was compiled by the HelpAge International advocacy group and the UN Population Fund in a bid to provide much-needed data on ageing populations worldwide.

It ranked the social and economic wellbeing of the elderly in 91 countries, by comparing data from the World Health Organization and other global agencies on older people’s incomes, health, education, employment and their environments.

Top 10 is as follows: 1. Sweden 2. Norway 3. Germany 4. Netherlands 5. Canada 6. Switzerland 7. New Zealand 8. USA 9. Iceland 10. Japan Britain came in at 13, ahead of Australia (14) and France (18).

Bottom 10 includes 82. Honduras 83. Montenegro 84. West Bank and Gaza 85. Nigeria 86. Malawi 87. Rwanda 88. Jordan 89. Pakistan 90. Tanzania 91. Afghanistan. Turkey is ranked 70th in the study.