SHARE - Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe


Data collected include health variables (e.g. self-reported health, health conditions, physical and cognitive functioning, health behaviour, use of health care facilities), bio-markers (e.g. grip strength, body-mass index, peak flow), psychological variables (e.g. psychological health, well-being, life satisfaction), economic variables (current work activity, job characteristics, opportunities to work past retirement age, sources and composition of current income, wealth and consumption, housing, education), and social support variables (e.g. assistance within families, transfers of income and assets, social networks, volunteer activities). In addition, the SHARE data base features anchoring vignettes from the COMPARE project and variables and indicators created by the AMANDA RTD-Project. The data are available to the entire research community for no costs. For methodological details see Boersch-Supan and Juerges (2005). You can download the SHARE brochure.The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 40,000 individuals aged 50 or over. Eleven countries have contributed data to the 2004 SHARE baseline study. They are a balanced representation of the various regions in Europe, ranging from Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden) through Central Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands) to the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy and Greece). Further data have been collected in 2005-06 in Israel. Two 'new' EU member states - the Czech Republic and Poland - as well as Ireland have joined SHARE in 2006 and participated in the second wave of data collection in 2006-07. The survey’s third wave of data collection, SHARELIFE, will collect detailed retrospective life-histories in sixteen countries in 2008-09, with Slovenia joining in as a new member.

SHARE is coordinated centrally at the
Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA). It is harmonized with the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). SHARE’s scientific power is based on its panel design that grasps the dynamic character of the ageing process. SHARE’s multi-disciplinary approach delivers the full picture of the ageing process. Rigorous procedural guidelines and programs ensure an ex-ante harmonized cross-national design.