Afghanistan is worst country for older people: index

Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:08pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Kieran Guilbert

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Afghanistan is the worst country to live in as an older person, an annual index on the wellbeing of the elderly showed on Wednesday.

The Asian country was ranked bottom for the second consecutive year in HelpAge International's Global AgeWatch Index, its health situation in particular the poorest in the world.

Norway topped the index - up one place from last year - followed by Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Germany, all of which remained in the top 10. Apart from Japan - ranked ninth - the 10 best performers were again in western Europe, North America and Australasia.

The report, which focused on pensions and warned that half the world’s population faces a bleak future without one, comes at a time when life expectancy continues to rise.

According to the United Nations the number of people over 60 will more than double to over two billion by 2050, meaning older people would comprise 21 percent of the world’s population.

Toby Porter, chief executive of HelpAge International, said governments worldwide need to implement specific policies to respond to "this unequovical demographic shift".

"Only if they act now will they have a chance to meet the needs of their citizens and keep their economies going," Porter told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


A U.S. Army soldier with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division speaks to a local Afghan man during a mission near Command Outpost Pa'in Kalay in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, February 3, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Burton