Among the 20 countries with the highest life expectancy
in the world, 17 belong to the Region of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which brings together 54 countries in and around Europe, as well as Canada and the USA. But the population in
Europe and (somewhat less so) in North America is not only the most long-living, but also the oldest worldwide in terms of the highest median age. However, this region is characterised by large and growing differences
in terms of how people age, both between and within countries.
This calls for strong public health policies to make healthy ageing more equitable, which in turn requires a robust statistical evidence base to inform policy-making. In order to fill this gap, the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research brought together a group of authors who have produced these “Facts and figures on healthy ageing and long-term care”, which offers a broad statistical picture to inform the development of ageing policies in an international comparative perspective.
Ageing is high on policy agendas around the world. The European Commission has designated 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. In 2012, the world is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing with a Ministerial Conference in Vienna. Around April 7, 2012, World Health Day, activities and campaigns throughout the world have focused on ageing and health, raising awareness on what individuals and governments
can do to promote active and healthy ageing.
This publication informs the joint vision shared in countries of Europe and North America of age-attuned and age-friendly societies, where older people can maintain maximum health and functional capacity and enjoy improved well-being and living in dignity, free of discrimination and with adequate financial means, and have access to high-quality health care and social support.
Rodrigues R., Huber M. and Lamura G. (eds.) (2012) Facts and Figures on Healthy Ageing and Long-Term Care in Europe and North America. European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna);