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The Best Country in the World to Grow Old

The country most friendly to electric vehicles is also the country most supportive of senior citizens, not that there's a relationship. After Norway, Sweden is the best place to grow old, according to the just released Global AgeWatch Index.
October 8, 2014, 8am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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BBC News world affairs correspondent Mike Wooldridge reports on the "Global AgeWatch Index (which) measures the social and economic welfare of those over 60."

The index measures four areas - income security, health, personal capability and whether the person lives in an "enabling environment".

As more people survive into older age, "the question is whether this can be turned into more positive ageing for those who have little or no social protection or savings," he writes.

The oil connection.

Norway's Government Pension Fund Global is funded by the Norwegian oil sector, which, according to the EIA, "is Europe's largest oil producer and the world's third-largest natural gas exporter." Kristina Bravo of takepart writes that the the fund "finances the country’s social welfare system." 

The Pension Fund includes "universal pension coverage for seniors which highly benefits Norway’s small population, which had only 800,000 seniors age 65 or over in 2013," she adds, noting that "Florida had about 3.6 million as of last year."

"Hot on the heels of Norway comes Sweden, closely followed by Switzerland, Canada and Germany," adds Wooldrige.

Insert any country into the Global AgeWatch Index to see how its score. The U.S. rated eighth.

In a separate BBC article and video, reporter Graham Satchell goes to Sweden, the nation that rated number two in the index, to see see how they treat their elderly. He is told that it is based on one question government officials ask the senior: "What do you want?" and then "working together to make it happen."

The Global AgeWatch Index is a product of HelpAge International which, according to its website, "helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives."

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Published on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 in BBC News
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