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Global AgeWatch Index 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.

More from HelpAge International on pensions...

Towards universal pension coverage in Mexico
L. Willmore / HelpAge International 2014
Until recently, there was no social pension provision in Mexico; all pensions were earnings-related, financed with government subsidies and payroll taxes. Mexico introduced social pensions long after other Latin American countries, an...
Advocating for social pensions: lessons learnt from the Philippines
HelpAge International 2014
Social pensions provide secure income for older people and are critical to reducing extreme poverty for older people. The Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) has been enabling older people to form community-led groups in the ...
Towards universal pensions in Tanzania: Evidence on opportunities and challenges from a remote area, Ngenge ward, Kagera
M. Heslop; S. Hofmann / HelpAge International 2014
The Government of Tanzania is currently taking concrete steps towards the implementation of a universal non-contributory pension. The objective of this study was to build on previous research by exploring the impacts of the cash trans...