22nd Mar 2019

Northern Europe best region in the world for elderly

  • Sweden is the best country in the world for elderly people (Photo: Barbro Björnemalm)

Sweden, Norway and Germany are the best places in the world for elderly people when it comes to healthcare, pensions and an environment allowing them to still be active, according to Global Age Watch a first-ever study compiled by the United Nations and published Tuesday (1 October).

At the other end of the scale are Montenegro, Moldova and Russia - ranking poorly among the 91 countries surveyed.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Within the EU, the worst country is Poland, ranking 62 in the world, below its Baltic neighbours or Albania.

The study shows that while pensions are high and old age poverty low, Poland scores badly in the healthcare domain and only averagely on employment, education and an enabling environment.

The study warns that by 2050, Poland's older population will make up over 35 percent of the total.

The same warning goes for Europe as a whole. Among all regions in the world, Europe has the highest proportion of people over 60 years of age (22%).

And as governments in Europe are slashing budgets and the economy is stagnant, standards of living are dropping, particularly in southern countries like Greece and Cyprus.

"In Greece, this is due not to its income security ranking, but to older people’s limited sense of individual security and civic freedoms," the report says.

"Cyprus does comparatively better with respect to health status indicators and in terms of its enabling environment, whereas Greece scores better than Cyprus with respect to the income security of its current generation of older people," it adds.

By 2050, southern European countries are projected to have the highest share of older people (38%), followed by western Europe (34%), eastern Europe (33%) and northern countries (30%).

"Current austerity programmes mean that, although pensions have been maintained, many other cuts have contributed to rising poverty and fewer services for older people," the study notes.

EU commission to map gender recognition

The European Commission will start looking at how EU states determine genders - as part of an effort to make it easier for people to determine their own identities.

EU to propose scrapping summer time change

Based on the preliminary results of an online survey in which mostly Germans took part, the EU executive is proposing that the whole EU stops changing times in March and October.


How to get around the EU posted workers directive

Some EU careworkers in Belgium receive around €400 a month - despite their carers paying €2,500 a month and paying for flights and accommodation. The answer lies in how firms can skirt the safeguards in the EU's posted workers directive.


Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  4. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  7. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  12. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us