SA ranked 80th in wellbeing of older people – global index

2014-10-01 09:03

South Africa has been ranked 80th out of 96 countries in the Global AgeWatch Index this year, HelpAge International said today.

“The latest results from the Global AgeWatch Index 2014 provide a great opportunity for governments in southern Africa to think about implementing universal social pensions and access to health services for all people aged 60-plus,” Southern Africa regional director Necodimus Chipfupa said.

The Global AgeWatch Index 2014 ranks 96 countries according to the social and economic wellbeing of older people.

Norway was the highest ranked country in the index, followed by Sweden.

According to statistics used in the index, 92% of South Africans aged 65 and older received a pension. Sixty-year-old South Africans could expect to live 16 years more on average, compared with an average of 17 more years, which their peers in other index-ranked African countries could expect.

According to the global index, 60-year-olds could expect to live another 20 years on average.

Eighty-three percent of older South Africans surveyed said they had someone to turn to in a crisis, indicating they felt socially connected.

South Africa was ranked 19th for elderly income security, and 83rd for an enabling environment, but the index revealed that personal security of the elderly remained an area of concern.

The best-performing African countries were Mauritius, ranked 38th, followed by South Africa, Ghana, ranked 81th, and Morocco, ranked 83th.

Most African countries were ranked low in the index. These countries had predominantly young populations and ageing issues did not often enjoy priority on domestic policy agendas.

Few African countries were included in the index because they lacked internationally comparable data sets on older people.

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