Data on the Elderly and Ageing
The FSD holdings contain some data suitable for researching the elderly and ageing. In addition, several datasets on other themes include variables useful for gerontology research. In most of the archived data, the research population consists of people aged 15 or over, which also covers the elderly or ageing people. In most cases, the sample sizes do not allow multi-level analyses of the elderly or ageing people, but the datasets are useful for studying differences between various age groups. The data archives of other countries may also have useful data for gerontology research.
This web page gives information on survey and interview data archived at the FSD suited for researching the elderly and ageing, but it should be noted that the surveys mentioned are only a small sample of all archived data related to the topic. It is therefore worthwhile to search the FSD's data catalogue, also by keywords. There is also a list of links to other information sources related to the elderly and ageing at the bottom of the page, including different statistics, register data, and institutes conducting gerontology research. The data archived at the FSD are freely available for research and teaching purposes. More information on how to order data.
All quantitative datasets archived at the FSD have study descriptions in English. More detailed information on the variables of each dataset can be found in the codebooks attached to each survey. However, there are codebooks in English only for those datasets which have already been translated into English. More datasets are translated on request.
International Survey Series
- Eurobarometers are carried out simultaneously in the European Union
member countries, thus enabling cross-country comparisons. An ordinary Eurobarometer includes thousands of respondents aged 65 or over,
200-300 of them being Finns. In some Eurobarometers, the whole survey population aged 15 or over has been asked questions on ageing, pensions, elderly care, or health. Eurobarometers can be analysed online or downloaded at the ZACAT online service of the German Data Archive GESIS. For more detailed information on Eurobarometers and their variables, please visit the Eurobarometer Data Service of the GESIS. Examples of Eurobarometer data:
» Eurobarometer 67.3: Health Care Service, Undeclared Work, EU Relations with Its Neighbour Countries, and Development Aid, May-June 2007
» Eurobarometer 59: Lifelong Learning, Health, and Partners and Fertility, January-February 2003
» Eurobarometer 37.2: Elderly Europeans, April-May 1992
- Flash Eurobarometers are small scale surveys, which supplement larger standard Eurobarometers.
- European Social Survey (ESS) is a biennial multi-country survey covering over 20 nations. The Finnish Data are available at the FSD, and the international ESS data is analysable and downloadable at the ESS Data service of the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD). The 2008 ESS survey contained a module on experiences and expressions of ageism.
- International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) is a continuous programme of cross-national collaboration on social science surveys, which is based on annual, internationally integrated surveys with varying themes. The 2001 ISSP Data explored social networks. The survey charted whether grown-up children should take care of their aged parents. All Finnish ISSP data can be ordered from the FSD, and it is also possible to analyse the international ISSP data at the ZACAT online service of the German Data Archive GESIS.
National Survey Series and Individual Datasets
- GOAL - Good Ageing in Lahti Region: Longitudinal Study on Ageing and Well-being 2002-2012 is a longitudinal cohort study focusing on the habits, health and well-being of the ageing population in the Päijät-Häme (Lahti) region of Finland. Data have been collected in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012 using questionnaires, clinical measurements and laboratory tests.
- Finnish Voter Barometers have included questions on willingness to promote the income of the elderly. In addition, the respondents have been asked whether they are worried about the status of the elderly. Some surveys also contain the respondents' evaluations on how the Government had succeeded in meeting the needs of the elderly and retired. This variable can also be found in the Finnish Voter Barometers 1992-2005 : Combined Data.
- In several archived data, the background information includes one or more variables describing the respondents' or their households' income (see also the LIS data).
- Developments in the situation of the elderly was one of the topics evaluated in the Parish Employee Survey 2002. Finnish National Election Study 2007 canvassed the importance of promoting the situation of the elderly.
- Most national studies have charted opinions and experiences on elderly care or welfare: who should be responsible for it, whether it could be outsourced or subjected to retrenchment, whether the respondents or their family members had used elderly care services, whether the services had been sufficient, and whether elderly care issues affected who the respondents voted for. The following survey series or individual datasets include variables related to elderly services:
» Voting and Party Choice in Parliamentary Elections 2007
» Themes of the 2003 Parliamentary Elections
» Follow-up on Parliamentary Elections 2003
» Finnish Local Government Barometers
» City Service Surveys
» Youth and Parliamentary Elections 2003
» Finnish Youth Survey 2002
» Family Barometers
» Parties and Local Democracy 1996 : Combined Data
» Finnish Voter Barometers
» Tampere Health and Social Surveys
- Aged Canadian Finns 2004 is part of a research project on ageing and immigration.
- Finnish Local Government 2004 : Sports Services 2002 charted whether there were sports and physical exercise services available for the elderly in the respondents' municipality of residence, which body organised these services, and whether the municipality subsidised the service provider.
- Older People's Experiences of Home Care Services 1999
- Finnish Sex Survey 1992 explored whether the elderly should enter into sexual relationships.
The surveys listed on this page are only a small sample of all data related to the elderly and ageing archived at the FSD. It is therefore worthwhile to search the FSD's data catalogues. See also the search instructions.
The Finnish Social Science Data Archive's international co-operation enables Finnish users to order a great number of international or foreign research data on ageing and the elderly. The data can be searched directly through the data catalogues of the archives, or it is also possible to ask the FSD for help in finding the material. If the data you find are not directly downloadable, they can be ordered for research, teaching, or study purposes through the FSD. In addition to data archives, data for gerontology research are also available through some other services.
- Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) data catalogue contains the descriptions of all data archived in 11 European data archives, including the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. It is also possible to search the datasets by keywords.
- LIS microdata studies households. Cross-sectional data are available from several countries at five-year intervals from 1980 onwards. LIS data provide ample possibilities to compare income distribution and the effectiveness of income transfers in over 30 countries. All research based on the LIS data are published in the LIS Working Papers series, which includes a great number of studies for instance on the aged population and pensions. It is worthwhile to familiarise oneself with these studies already before proceeding with own analyses. The FSD is responsible for paying Finland's annual membership fee in the project, which means that the employees of Finnish universities can use the data for free. The use of the data is always free for students.
- Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of microdata collected in 11 European countries and Israel. Finland is not included in the study. The panel includes more than 45,000 individuals aged 50 or over. The data have been collected in three waves and harmonised with the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The data collected include physical and psychological health variables, economic variables, social support variables, and variables describing social networks. The data are available online for research. Access to data is provided by CentERdata of the Tilburg University.
» Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)
» Health and Retirement Study (HRS)
» English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)
- National Archive of Computerized Data on Ageing (NACDA), located within the U.S. Data Archive ICPSR, is a thematic archive specialised in research data relevant to gerontology research.
- Health 2000 survey was a Finnish, nationally representative health interview/examination survey also covering the aged population. The research data contain plenty of information for instance on the respondents' health, socio-demographic background, way of life, and use of services. The data are not freely available, but it can be utilised in co-operation with the researchers of the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Ordering the data entails making a co-operation agreement on the use of data, after which the requested data are sent to the researchers separately.
- Statistical data:
- All pension recipients (Finnish Centre for Pensions)
- Recipients of earnings-related pensions and insured (Finnish Centre for Pensions)
- Statistics on pension in Finland (Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela))
- Income distribution statistics (Statistics Finland)
- Research institutes, units, and projects:
- Gerontology Research Centre, University of Jyväskylä
- Gerontology, School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere
- Gerontology Research Center (GEREC), jointly coordinated by the School of Health Sciences at the University of Tampere and the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä
- Age Institute
- National Institute for Health and Welfare
- The European Research Area in Ageing 2 (ERA-AGE 2) project
- Aging Research Center (ARC)
- Berlin Institute for Population and Development
- Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA)
For more information, please contact Information Officer Helena Laaksonen, the Finnish Social Science Data Archive.