Nigeria Sixth Worst Country To Grow Old, Says UN

On the day that Nigeria celebrated its 53rd
anniversary as an independent nation, a new
study released today by the UN backed Help
Age International advocacy group ranked
Nigeria among the worst countries in the
world that least care about their old
population.

The Global AgeWatch Index ranked 91
countries, with Nigeria ranked 85th, the
sixth worst, with a poor record of catering for
the well-being of the elderly, people older
than 60.

Though Nigeria has the highest GDP among
the African Index countries, it ranks third
lowest for income security, the report said.
“This reflects its limited pension coverage,
at 5 per cent. It ranks 84th in the health
domain and, with Rwanda, has the lowest
life expectancy at age 60 – 16 years.

“For employment and education, Nigeria
ranks 70 with the fourth highest proportion
of older people, 17.4%, with secondary or
higher education among its African Index
counterparts.

“Nigeria ranks second lowest regionally, at
76, in the enabling environment domain,
with only 53% of older Nigerians enjoying
civic freedom.

The report indicated that older Nigerians are
taking part in the Age Demands Action
campaign for the first time this year.

In contrast, Sweden offers the best
environment to grow old. Expectedly,
Afghanistan is the worst – but general
affluence does not necessarily mean better
conditions for the over-60s, reports the
London Guardian.

While Sweden’s top ranking – followed by
Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and
Canada – may be predictable, the Global
AgeWatch index throws up some surprising
results.

The US, the world’s richest country,
languishes in eighth place, while the UK fails
to make the top 10, residing instead at No
13. Sri Lanka ranks 36, well above Pakistan
at 89, despite similar levels of gross
domestic product (GDP). Bolivia and
Mauritius score higher than the size of their
economies may suggest, while the emerging
economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China
are a mixed bag. Brazil and China rank
relatively high on the index; India and
Russia sit much lower.

The ageing index is calculated using 13
indicators under four headings: income
security, healthcare, employment and
education, and an enabling environment. All
indicators have equal weight, except for
pension income coverage, life expectancy at
60, healthy life expectancy at 60, and
psychological wellbeing. These categories
were given increased weighting because of
better data quality, and countries were
included only if there was sufficient data.

The best and worst countries to grow old:
the UN rankings
The index was compiled by the HelpAge
International advocacy group and funded by
the UN Population Fund

Top 10

1. Sweden

2. Norway

3. Germany

4. Netherlands

5. Canada

6. Switzerland

7. New Zealand

8. USA

9. Iceland

10. Japan

Britain came in at 13, ahead of Australia (14)
and France (18).

Lower down in the rankings were the
emerging economies of Brazil (31), China
(35), South Africa (65), India (73) and Russia
(78).

Bottom 10:

82. Honduras

83. Montenegro

84. West Bank and Gaza

85. Nigeria

86. Malawi

87. Rwanda

88. Jordan

89. Pakistan

90. Tanzania

91. Afghanistan

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