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Countries With Aging Populations

Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand | AFP | Getty Images

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8. Sweden

Old/young ratio: 1.27:1
65 years & over: 19.7%
0-14 years: 15.4%

Sweden is the only country in Scandinavia, a region heralded for its quality of life, to make the top 10 list of the world’s oldest populations.

The country’s elderly population has steadily increased from 17 percent of the total population in 2006 to 18 percent in 2010, while its population of people aged up to 14 years has remained at 17 percent since 2005, according to the World Bank. Seniors will account for nearly 30 percent of the Swedish population by 2040, according the Global Aging Preparedness (GAP) Index. But, despite its aging population, a study by asset management firm Allianz Global Investors showed that Sweden has the second-most sustainable pension system out of 44 major economies, thanks to a highly developed and privately funded system which lessens the burden on public finances. Swedes contribute 18.5 percent of their income to the national pension system.

Last December, the government pledged $617 million over the next few years to improve elderly care after a series of highly publicized senior care scandals in the previous months. An IMF study from June 2011 has ranked Sweden as the 7th country out of the world’s 20 major economies to have the best living standard for the elderly.

Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand | AFP | Getty Images