After finishing 2nd place in 2013, Norway has passed Sweden to top the Global Age Watch Index, a report conducted by HelpAge International. The information used in this index was retrieved from data sets from United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Bank, World Health Organization, International Labour Organization, UNESCO and the Gallup World Poll.

The world is aging extremely fast and data is needed to measure progress and improve the impact of policy and practice on ageing populations. There is already more people in the world over 60 than there are people under five and by 2030 there will be more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 10. Only 96 countries are included in the index (due to data limitations) but these nations make up 91 per cent of the global population above 60 years old.

2014 Global AgeWatch Rankings

Norway finished first in two of the four main indicators. Each indicator was broken down into sub indicators for a total of 13 categories.

What Separates Norway from the Rest?

Norway’s universal pension coverage and the added value of various benefits result in a high level of income security for older Norwegians. The Government Pension Fund Global (also known as the Oil Fund) is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. Norway’s revenues from the oil sector are channeled into this fund and are invested globally to create revenue. This fund provides a high degree of economic security which will benefit the current and future generations of Norwegian elders. This is fund is expected to reach 4.3 trillion NOK (US$717 billion) by the end of this year.

Norway has one of Europe’s highest shares of working people between ages 60-66 and allow flexible retirement between the ages of 62-75 which results in improved incentives to work for longer. Their employment rate among older people is approximately 15 per cent higher than the regional average at 70.9 per cent. Norway also has the highest rate of educational achievement among older people at 99.4 per cent.

One of the most important outlets for older people in Norways is The National Council for Senior Citizens. This council is appointed by the Government to focus on issues concerning the living conditions of senior citizens and their opportunities to take part in working life and in society at large.

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