A new report from HelpAge International has named Switzerland the best place in the world for older people to live, followed by Norway and Sweden.

The Global AgeWatch Index evaluated the social and economic well-being of older adults in 96 countries. The Index includes about 901 million people, which reflects 91% of the world’s population aged ≥60 years. Four main areas of life were assessed: income, health, education and employment, and the enabling environment.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Switzerland (1) tops the Index, alongside Norway (2), Sweden (3), Germany (4) and Canada (5). The UK (10) is also among the top 10 this year, along with USA (9).
  • Apart from Japan (8) all the top 10 countries are advanced countries in Western Europe and North America. Afghanistan (96) is ranked last.
  • Countries investing in improving the lives of older people are at the top of the Index. They are implementing policies which promote social pensions, universal healthcare and enabling physical and social environments for older people.
  • All the world’s regions are represented in the lowest quarter, showing that improvements in lives of older people are required in countries across the world.
  • African countries make up half of those with low income security rankings and poor health results – requiring more research and policy interventions in this region than any other.
  • Greece (79), Venezuela (76) and Turkey (75) are in a similar position to sub-Saharan African and Asian countries.