Wednesday, 1 October 2014

2014 Global AgeWatch Index ranks South Africa 80th out of 96 countries

The 2014 Global AgeWatch Index ranks 96 nations on the basis of the quality of life and social and economic status of older people, aged 60 and over.

From this index, governments can use it to identify policies to improve the lives of older people.

Out of the 96 countries, South Africa ranks a disgustingly low 80th place overall, but is the second-highest in its region, sub-Saharan Africa, which is one of the most pathetic and poorest areas on planet earth.

The index studies four areas, in particular:

  • Income Security covers the state of pensions, relative welfare of older people, GDP in each country, and poverty rate in old age.
South Africa is ranked 19th in terms of Income Security.
By October 2013, 93% of older South Africans received a pension of which 63% (more than 2.9 million) received a tax-payer-funded Old-Age-Pension (OAG) of approximately R1,260 (117 US$) per month the communist ANC Regime with the rest receiving contributory pensions.

  • Health status includes life expectancy at 60 and psychological status.
South Africa ranks at a very low, near-rock-bottom 89th place due to health service delivery in the country having come to a virtual halt.

  • ‘Enabling environment’ includes physical safety, social connections and access to public transport.
South Africa is ranked 83rd place, due to below regional averages on older people’s satisfaction with their safety (31%) and civic freedom (66%)

  • Capability covers the employment level and educational status of older people:
South Africa is ranked 75th place thanks to the high standards of education under "apartheid".
South Africa has the highest rate of educational attainment among older people in its region (43.8%), slightly above the overall Index average (43%) - Obviously these people were educated in pre-1994 South Africa, when we enjoyed among the highest educational standards in the world.


Commentary on South Africa’s domain ranks in the 2014 Global AgeWatch Index
By Necodimus Chipfupa, Regional Director, HelpAge Southern Africa
Download this document in pdf format at:

Compare South Africa to other countries:
What's it like to grow old in YOUR country? Global index ranks the world based on quality of life for the over-60s

Global rankings map
The map shows how countries are ranked in the Global AgeWatch Index. Countries are ranked from 1 to 96, with 1 being the highest rank. The higher the rank, the better the quality of life for older people. Colours on a spectrum from dark green to dark red represent the ranking from 1 to 96. Grey is used for countries where there is not enough data to include them in the Index

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