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Norway is the Best Country for Older People to Live in, Index Reports

Update Date: Oct 01, 2014 10:50 AM EDT

The HelpAge International's Global AgeWatch Index has revealed its ranking of the best and worst places to live in the world for older adults. The index, which factored in social and economic welfare, named Norway the number one place for seniors over the age of 60 whereas Afghanistan was listed as the worst.

The ranking included 96 countries and examined four mains areas, which were income security, health, personal capability and the presence of an "enabling environment." The report also calculated that by 2050, 21 percent of the world's population should be over the age of 60. Some of the countries in the index can expect to have 30 percent of their population be older individuals.

Number one on the list was Norway, followed by Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Germany, in that order. Other countries in Western Europe, North America and Australasia were ranked higher on the list as well. At the very bottom of the list was Afghanistan for the second year in a row.

Experts associated with the index stressed the importance of implementing policies that can help the elderly. Due to advances in medicine as well as greater access to treatments, more people are living past 60-years-old. In order to assure a good quality of life, governments will have to step up.

"Only if they act now will they have a chance to meet the needs of their citizens and keep their economies going," Toby Porter, chief executive of HelpAge International, said to the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported by Reuters. "Social pensions are essential in developing countries where very few people have spent time in formal employment with contributory pensions. People need this basic state provision, and governments must realize that social pensions are an affordable measure."

One region of the world that has adopted social pensions is Latin America. In Mexico, adding social pensions for people aged 65 and older has pushed the nation's ranking up to number 30, which is 26 slots higher than their ranking from last year. Peru has a similar pension program that pays seniors over 65 a set amount of money every two months.

The index was published on the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.

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