If you live in Switzerland and plan to retire and die here be thankful. The country has just been ranked the third best place in the world to be old in by the Global Age Watch Index 2014 which measures how well 96 countries are supporting their older populations.
Norway leads the ranking followed by Sweden. With the exception of Japan, the top 10 countries were all in Western Europe, North America and Australasia. Afghanistan, Mozambique and the Occupied Palestinian Territories came bottom.
Canada came in at 4, the US at 8, the UK at number 11 and France at 16. In the southern hemisphere, Australia was ranked 13th being overtaken by New Zealand at 10. South Africa was in 83rd place.
The report’s more detailed stats are often interesting – if not disconcerting. In Switzerland’s case the Global Age Watch report states that life expectancy at 60 is 25 years. All well and good you might think until in the next line it states: “Healthy life expectancy aged 60 is 19 years”. By anyone’s reckoning that means that Swiss over the age of 60 can expect to live in a state of illness for six years. However, on further digging it becomes clear that this figure is not much different from most other countries.
According the Global Age Watch report published by Help Age this week, there are currently 868m people over 60 in the world – nearly 12 per cent of the population.
Global Age Watch Index 2014