The index measures how well 96 countries in the world are supporting their older populations of over age 60.
Sri Lanka ranks moderately at 46 on the HelpAge International’s Global Age Watch Index which ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring in four domains that are key to older people’s wellbeing – income security, health status, capability, and their “enabling environment”.
It performs best in the enabling environment domain at 25th due to above regional average figures for social connectedness (79%), safety (71%) and civic freedom (81%).
It ranks moderately in the capability domain at 36, with an employment rate (50.3%) lower than the regional average (55.1%). It also ranks moderately in the health domain (54), with life expectancy of 20 years and healthy life expectancy of 16.2 at age 60 above the regional averages of 19.3 and 14.8 respectively. According to national data women can expect to live a few years longer than men. Sri Lanka ranks lowest in the income security domain at 78, with low pension income coverage (17.1%), a low poverty rate (11.3%) and low GNI per capita compared to regional averages.
This year, Age Demands Action campaigners in Sri Lanka are rallying to call for separate hospital wards for older people.
Switzerland is the best place for the people above 60 while Norway, Sweden, Germany and Canada were in the top five in that order.
Elsewhere in the South Asia region, Bangladesh ranked at 67th, Nepal at 70th followed by India at 71st, Pakistan at 92nd and Afghanistan at the bottom of the index at 96th.