The Netherlands is officially a great place to grow old

Ageing populations are one of the biggest issues faced by modern culture. As the global generation of "baby boomers" progresses into retirement, nations' treatment of older generations is becoming increasingly important.

About the Global AgeWatch study

The Global AgeWatch Index ranks each country in terms of how it treats its ageing population. Its ratings are based on four categories which underlie the standard of living for older individuals: income, health, employment and education, and enabling environment.

Every country is given a rating out of 100 according to these criteria, with the highest scores representing the best standard of living for those over 65.

Excellent care for old people in the Netherlands

The Netherlands fared very well in this study, scoring an impressive 88,2. The Dutch were shown to have the fourth best overall quality of life for old people, beaten only by Sweden (89,9), Norway (89,8), and Germany (89,3).

The Netherlands scored particularly highly in the "Global Age Preparedness Index." This reflects the Dutch governments' positive actions during the past few decades, as it has introduced many social security provisions. 

For instance, the 2009 national budget set aside 80 million euros for the care of old people. Combined with the Netherlands' old age pension scheme (introduced in 1957), this means that only 2,1 per cent of old people currently live in poverty.

Furthermore, 91 per cent of older Dutch people were satisfied with their civic freedoms, while 92 per cent said they had reliable friends or family to call on in times of trouble.

The study concluded that, although Dutch pension funds have diminished somewhat in recent years, the older generation of the Netherlands is still comparatively well-off.

Top 10 countries for old people

1. Sweden
2. Norway
3. Germany
4. The Netherlands
5. Canada
6. Switzerland
7. New Zealand
8. USA
9. Iceland
10. Japan

Source: HelpAge International

Elzi Lewis


Elzi Lewis

Elzi swapped rainy Manchester for (rainier) Amsterdam a year ago, and has never looked back. Having just finished an MA at the University of Amsterdam, she is both excited and...

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