Denmark is one of the best places to grow old

Justin Cremer
Justin Cremer - [email protected] • 1 Oct, 2014 Updated Wed 1 Oct 2014 15:14 CEST
Denmark is one of the best places to grow old

Denmark is among the best countries to live out the twilight of one's years, but was ranked several places below its neighbours in a new global index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries.


HelpAge International's Global AgeWatch Index was released this week, measuring the social and economic welfare of those aged over 60. The report comes with the prognosis that by 2050, 21 percent of the world’s population will be over 60 years old.
In Agewatch's ranking Norway and Sweden took the top two spots, while Denmark came in at number 12. 
Neighbouring Germany also bested Denmark, with HelpAge ranking it as the fifth best country in which to grow old. 
The Local asked the association for the elderly, DaneAge (Ældresagen), if it was satisfied with Denmark’s position on the list.
“It is always a bit hard to compare countries, so it is difficult to say if 12th place is good enough or not, but we will continue our work for a better living standard,” Ældresagen consultant Martin Stabell said. 
“The reason our neighbours rank higher is down to several different things, including the fact that life expectancy is longer in both Norway and Sweden. In Denmark, the relative income of our retirees is also a bit lower,” he added.
By 2050 around 40 countries in the index will have a population where 30 percent are 60 years old or more. The UN has stated that the number of people aged 60 years old and over is expected to reach 1.4 billions by 2030.
Stabell said that Denmark has made changes to adapt to the realities of an ageing population, including raising the retirement age to 68 in 2030 and 69 in 2035. 
“Danes are living longer, but because we are also raising the retirement age, the number of retirees in Denmark will not actually increase all that much,” Stabell said. 
The index was published on the UN’s international day for the elderly. Australia, Western Europe and North America are placed high up on the list, and Afghanistan at the bottom.


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