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World's best countries to grow old in revealed

Bring on the golden years

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 26 July 2017 12:16 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

When times get tough, we often find ourselves contemplating life's most existential questions.

Who am I? Is there life after death? Does milk really go in first when making tea?

If you’ve just found your first grey hair or chin wrinkle, or recently enjoyed an ‘early bird special’ at your local restaurant, perhaps the question of "where in the world would I like to grow old?" comes to mind.

Researchers from Columbia University and USC have uncovered the five best places in the country to age. In other words, these are the places you’ll be able to age with Michael Caine-worthy poise.

(iStock (iStock)

They’ve developed a new barometer which estimates how countries around the world are adapting to the dramatic increases in the proportion of golden oldies in society.

The Index is composed of various social and economic indicators that reflect the status and wellbeing of older people in a country. These included productivity and engagement, wellbeing, equity, cohesion and security.

Norway was ranked top, followed by Sweden, the US, the Netherlands and Japan. The UK came in at 11th, just after Spain.

(Columbia University (Columbia University)

"Now that previously unimagined numbers of older persons are living longer, it is critical that we shift from our prior sole focus on the characteristics of individuals and their immediate environments to one that includes a strategy for the entire society to successfully adapt to an aging population" said Professor John Rowe, MD, who led the interdisciplinary team of researchers.

Funnily enough, Norway also came out top in this year’s World Happiness Report as the happiest country to live in, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.

The UK, in case you’re wondering, is the 19th happiest country in the world.

"Interestingly, the Index demonstrates that the United States - despite general problems with inequity and social cohesion - has done well in keeping older Americans financially secure, productive, and engaged," noted Dana Goldman, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Leonard D. Schaeffer Director's Chair at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics.

"The Index provides an accurate look at how well societies are adapting to this aging challenge," she continued. "Utilising reliable and sensitive economic and social indicators that are widely available, the tool allows countries to take a broader view of both current conditions and likely future demographic realities."

Which way to the Nordic Bakery?

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