HelpAge International released its Global AgeWatch Index 2015 at the United Nations today. The index draws on a number of data points to rank the best and worst countries in which to grow old. Switzerland ranked at the top this year, followed closely by Sweden, Germany and Canada. United States ranked 9th. At the bottom of the list, were Afghanistan, Malawi, and Mozambique.
There is a big gap is the number of countries in which information on the quality of life in old age is missing from the international data sets. The Index includes 96 countries, but is missing 98 for which the data is not available. This glaring gap comes at a time when the governments will sign up to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), goals which commit us to improving the wellbeing of the world’s population over the next 15 years. Ageing issues have been included in the SDG’s, a recognition of the significance of global ageing. This addition is welcomed by IAHSA. Now, we need to work hard to make this commitment a reality.