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 approximately 123,000 individuals (more than 293,000 interviews) from 20 European countries (+Israel) aged 50 or older. SHARE’s scientific power is based on its panel design that grasps the dynamic character of the ageing process.

Study Design

Study Design Cohort
General Information on Follow Up (profile, frequency)

Information is collected every 2 years. Most participating countries managed to stick to the schedule.

Recruitment Target
  • Individuals
Number of Participants

(No Limit)

Number of Participants with Biosamples

(No Limit)

Access

Access to external researchers or third parties provided or foreseen.

Data (questionnaire-derived, measured...)

Biosamples

Other Access Access to the SHARE data is provided free of charge to all scientists globally. For details on how to register as a SHARE user, please visit http://www.share-project.org/data-access-documentation/research-data-center-data-access.html.

Marker Paper

Börsch-Supan A, Brandt M, Hunkler C, Kneip T, Korbmacher J, Malter F, Schaan B, Stuck S, Zuber S; SHARE Central Coordination Team. Data Resource Profile: the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). International Journal of Epidemiology, 2013; 42(4): 992-1001.

PUBMED 23778574

Study Timeline

Each colour in the timeline graph below represents a separate Study Population, while each segment in the graph represents a separate Data Collection Event. Clicking on a segment gives more detailed information on a Data Collection Event.

Populations

SHARE population

Participants aged 50 and over from 20 European countries plus Israel. Current partners living in the household were interviewed regardless of their age. 

The Share population has been refreshed at waves 2, 4, 5 and 6. In wave 2 a refresher sample was drawn in all first wave countries except Austria and the Flemish part of Belgium, while the Czech Republic, Ireland, and Poland participated for the first time. Cohorts born in 1955 and 1956 were oversampled in some countries to keep the sample representative of the population 50 years old and older. The target population for the refreshment samples of wave 4 (Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, and the Netherlands; plus baseline samples in Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovenia) consists of all persons born 1960 or earlier having their regular domicile in the respective country, together with their current partners/spouses, independently of age. The target population for the refreshment samples of wave 5 (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovenia; plus baseline samples in Girona and Luxembourg) consists of all persons born 1962 or earlier, but otherwise remained the same. The target population for the refreshment samples of wave 6 (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, and Slovenia; plus a baseline sample in Croatia) consists of all persons born 1964 or earlier, but otherwise remained the same.

The countries participating in each wave are as follows:

  • W1: Denmark, Sweden, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Greece and Israel. 
  • W2: Denmark, Sweden, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, Czech Republic, Poland, and Ireland 
  • SHARELIFE: Denmark, Sweden, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic and Poland,  
  • W4: Denmark, Sweden, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia and Portugal
  • W5: Denmark, Sweden, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain (including Girona), Italy, Israel, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Slovenia and Luxembourg
  • W6: Denmark, Sweden, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain (including Girona), Italy, Israel, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Slovenia, Portugal, Luxembourg, and Croatia

Sources of Recruitment

General Population
  • Selected sample
Supplementary Information SHARE is a multinational survey, which involves differences in sampling resources between countries. Most SHARE countries have access to population registers.

Selection Criteria

Age Minimum age 50
Country Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Croatia
Other A person is excluded if she or he is incarcerated, hospitalized or out of the country during the entire survey period, unable to speak the country’s language(s) or has moved to an unknown address.

Sample Size

Number of Participants

(No Limit)

Number of Participants with Biosamples

(No Limit)

Supplementary Information about Number of Participants

Wave 1: 31 115 participants

Wave 2: 34 415 participants

Wave 3: 26 836 participants

Wave 4 : 58 489 participants

Wave 5 :

Data Collection Events

NameDescriptionStartEnd
SHARE Wave 1

The interviewers used computer-assisted...

20042004
SHARE Wave 2

The interviewers used computer-assisted...

20062006
SHARE Wave 3 (SHARELIFE)

Retrospective survey to collect information...

20082008
SHARE Wave 4

Most of the data was collected using the...

20102010
SHARE Wave 5

Most of the data was collected using the...

20132013
SHARE Wave 6

Most of the data was collected using the...

20152015
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Variable Classification