Sweden is the most pleasant country in which to grow old, according to a United Nations report. The world population is aging, but countries are generally unprepared for these demographic changes, the study says. In 2050, 22% of the world’s population will be over 60-years-old.
Norway and Germany rank just behind Sweden in the ‘Global Agewatch Index 2013’, based on 13 economic and social indicators from categories such as income, health, employment and training and supportive environment.
Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, Iceland and Japan are all in the top 10. Belgium is ranked 24th out of 91, with 67 per cent of the ideal value. 2.6 million over-60s make up 23.9 per cent of the population. The report reveals that, despite the high level of income, Belgium achieves a “relatively low” score (ranking only 41st) when it comes to income security – 12.8% of those sixty and over earn less than half the average income. But it fares much better in the field of health, reaching 23rd position, with a life expectancy of 24 years when we reach the age of sixty. As for a supportive environment, Belgium is in 29th place, since 90% of people in their fifties say they have family or friends to rely on in case of need.
Photo: Thomas Bjørkan