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Research Data Center of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe


The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel survey, which produces microdata on health, socio-economic status as well as social and family networks of more than 140,000 individuals aged 50 or older.

About the Data Centre

Eleven countries from all over Europe have contributed data to the 2004 SHARE baseline study. They are a balanced representation of the various regions in Europe from Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden) through Central Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands) to the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy and Greece). A survey of Israel was included for the first time in 2005/06. Two ‘new’ EU member states – the Czech Republic and Poland – as well as Ireland joined SHARE in 2006 and subsequently took part in the second wave of data collection in 2006-07. The survey’s third wave, SHARELIFE, collected detailed retrospective life-histories in fourteen countries in 2008-09. Hungary, Portugal, Estonia and Slovenia took part in the fourth wave in the years 2010-11; whereas Luxembourg and Croatia were integrated in 2013 and 2015 respectively. In 2017 Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia joined SHARE, resulting in full coverage of Continental Europe. For a detailed overview of all SHARE countries of every wave, please visit: http://www.share-eric.eu

SHARE is harmonised with the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The survey’s strengths rely on three pillars: Firstly, its panel design captures the dynamic character of the ageing process. Secondly, SHARE’s multi-disciplinary approach facilitates a broad representation of the ageing process. Thirdly, the rigorous procedural guidelines and programmes safeguard the survey’s ex-ante harmonised cross-national design.

The collected data 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). Additionally, the survey offers generated variables, for example on education and health, as well as weighting and imputation. Since 2020, SHARE investigates the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19-pandemic in Europe. The data cover the impact of the pandemic and the lockdown measures in Europe in the areas: physical and mental health, health behaviour, infections and healthcare, changes in work and economic situation, as well as social networks.

Researchers may access SHARE data free of charge via the SHARE Research Data Center: https://releases.sharedataportal.eu/users/login

Available data (as of: September 2020)

Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe: SHARE (Wave 1: 2004/05), SHARE (Wave 2: 2006/07), SHARELIFE (Wave 3: 2008/09), SHARE (Wave 4: 2010/11), SHARE (Wave 5: 2013), SHARE (Wave 6: 2016), SHARE (Wave 7: 2019) (http://www.share-project.org/data-documentation.html).

easySHARE: easySHARE is a simplified HRS-adapted dataset for student training, and for researchers who have little experience in quantitative analyses of complex survey data. While the main release of SHARE is stored in more than 100 single data files, easySHARE stores information on all respondents and of all currently released data collection waves in one single dataset.

SHARE-RV: stands for the direct linkage of survey data of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) with administrative records of the German Pension Insurance (DRV). Upon respondents’ consent, the German Pension Insurance provides the administrative records, which can be linked to the SHARE interviews of the same person. The data are available via the German Pensions Insurance RDC. http://www.share-project.org/special-data-sets/record-linkage-project/share-rv.html

Job Episodes Panel: The SHARE Job Episodes Panel (JEP) is a generated dataset based on information of Wave 3 (SHARELIFE) and Wave 7 of SHARE. It comes in the form of a retrospective long panel. The JEP contains the labour market status of each respondent throughout her/his life. http://www.share-project.org/special-data-sets/job-episodes-panel.html


Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA)
Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy
Amalienstrasse 33
80799 Munich