Notes on methodology and terms/concepts used on the Global AgeWatch website
Pension income coverage
This indicator measures the existence and coverage of the pension system in a country and is what is commonly known as "beneficiaries coverage rate".
This indicator is defined as the proportion of people aged 65 or over in receipt of a pension, which is calculated in different ways according to the availability of data. Where figures exist for the proportion of people aged 65 or over receiving a pension, this data is used. Where figures only exist for the proportion of people receiving a pension at a lower age of eligibility (such as 60), it is assumed that this data would be the same for the population aged 65 and over.
Poverty rate in old age
This indicator measures the poverty of older people, using the relative poverty definition.
Proportion of people aged 60-plus living in households where the equivalised income/consumption is below the poverty line threshold of 50% of the national equivalised median income/consumption (equivalising factor is the square root of household size).
Relative welfare of older people
This indicator measures the income/consumption situation of older people in relation to the rest of the population.
Average income/consumption of people aged 60-plus as a share of average income/consumption for the rest of society.
GNI per capita
In 2015 indicator GDP per capita was replaced with GNI per capita. GDP is the monetary value of goods and services produced in a country irrespective of how much is retained in the country. This last distinction is critical in today's globalised world. GNI expresses the income accrued to residents of a country, including international flows such as remittances and aid, and excluding income generated in the country but retained abroad. Thus GNI is a more accurate measure of a country's economic wealth. Just like GDP, GNI per capita is a proxy for standard of living of people within a country. It aims to provide comparisons across countries. Therefore, it is not a conceptual change but a technical improvement. The use of the gross national income (GNI) per capita indicator implies that all citizens, old and young, would benefit equally from increased economic production in a country.
GNI per capita is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad and divided by the number of people in the country. GNI per capita was converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates (PPP). PPP are in constant 2011 international dollars.
Life expectancy at 60
This indicator measures how many years a person aged 60 can expect to live.
The average number of years that a person aged 60 can expect to live, if they pass through life exposed to the sex- and age-specific death rates prevailing at the time they are aged 60, for a specific year, in a given country.
Healthy life expectancy at 60
Healthy life expectancy at 60 measures how many years a person of 60 can expect to live in good physical health.
The average number of years that a person aged 60 can expect to live in "full health" by taking into account years lived in less than full health due to disease and/or injury.
Relative psychological wellbeing
Psychological wellbeing is a critical factor in measuring the quality of lifewellbeing in later life. This indicator measures self-assessed mental wellbeing and supplements the healthy life expectancy indicator which relies on physical health only.
Proportion of people over 50 who answered "yes" to the question: "Do you feel your life has an important purpose or meaning?" Expressed as the percentage of people aged 50-plus who answered "yes" to this question divided by the percentage of people aged 35-49 who answered "yes".
Labour market engagement of older people (employment rate)
This indicator measures older people's access to the labour market (both formal and informal) and therefore their ability to supplement pension income with wages, and their access to work-related support networks.
Thus, employment rate is used as a proxy for the economic empowerment of older people.
Proportion of the population aged 55-64 that are employed.
Educational attainment of older people
Key competencies in the form of knowledge, skills and attitudes improve quality of life in older age. Education is a proxy for lifelong accumulation of skills and competencies that shows the social and human capital potential inherent among older people.
Proportion of the population aged 60+ with secondary or higher education.
This indicator measures the support available from relatives or friends.
Percentage of people aged 50-plus who responded "yes" to the survey question: "If you were in trouble, do you have relatives or friends you can count on to help you whenever you need them, or not?"
This indicator measures how safe people feel in their neighbourhood.
Percentage of people aged 50-plus who responded "yes" to the survey question: "Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?"
This indicator measures how much control older people feel they have over their life.
Percentage of people aged 50-plus who provided a positive response to the survey question: "In this country, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?"
Access to public transport
This indicator measures access to and quality of public transport which is key to older people's quality of life, enabling them to access services (such as healthcare and shops) and friends and family.
Percentage of people aged 50-plus who provided a positive response to the survey question: "In the city or area where you live, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the public transportation systems?"
Policies on ageing
The table on policies shows, if information is available, whether policies on ageing exist in the respective country. This information provides insight into a country's response to population ageing.
To get a better understanding of this it is, however, essential to look at the implementation and evaluation of the policies. Very little evidence on resources allocated to implementation or on implementation and evaluation was found.
National policies on ageing and/or older people are age-specific policy tools that generally call for mainstreaming ageing and the provisions made in these national plans on ageing into sectoral policy, such as health or social security policy.
The information was collected through extensive primary and secondary research conducted in preparation for Ageing in the Twenty-First Century and its preceding Overview of Available Policies and Legislation, Data and Research, and Institutional Arrangements Relating To Older Persons - Progress Since Madrid published by UNFPA and HelpAge International in 2011.
Methods of evidence gathering included:
- Analysis of government responses to questionnaires
- Publications and other materials issued by governments
- Information provided by international organisations
- Additional materials from non-government sources, including articles in academic journals, reports and presentations prepared by research institutes
- Web searches
- Personal communication and correspondence with experts.
Further details, including details of the methodology, can be found in Overview of Available Policies and Legislation, Data and Research, and Institutional Arrangements Relating To Older Persons - Progress Since Madrid published by UNFPA and HelpAge International in 2011.
The database on policies and legislation is a living document that will grow as more information becomes available. If you have additional information on any of the schemes listed, please email the Global AgeWatch team at HelpAge.
The information on social pensions is taken from HelpAge's social pensions database which gathers information from a range of sources and draws on the knowledge of our worldwide team of social protection experts.
It has data on over 90 social pension schemes running across the globe in low-, middle- and high-income countries.
The database is a living document that will grow as more information is gathered. If you have additional information on any of the schemes listed, please email the PensionWatch team at HelpAge.
Geographical targeting: A targeting method which uses geographical location to identify beneficiaries.
GDP per capita: Income per person in a population. Per capita income is often used to measure a country's standard of living.
Means test: A targeting method based on income that seeks to collect comprehensive information on household income and/or wealth and verifies the information collected against independent sources.
Pensions-testing: A targeting method which aims to exclude those already in receipt of a pension.
Social pension: A non-contributory cash transfer paid regularly to older people by government.
Targeting: The effort to focus resources among those most in need of them.