Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Life satisfaction of older people in six European countries: Findings from the European study on adult wellbeing.

  • Dieter Ferring
  • Cristian Balducci
  • Vanessa Burholt
  • Clare Wenger
  • F Thissen
  • Germain Weber
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
Publishing year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 15-25
Publication/Series: European Journal of Ageing
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

The European Study on Adult Well-being (ESAW), funded by the European Union, was conducted during 2002 and 2003 in Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden. The aim of the interdisciplinary study was the conceptual clarification and the identification of factors contributing to life satisfaction for older people. Five key components were included in the study: (1) physical health and functional status; (2) self-resources; (3) material security; (4) social support resources; and (5) life activity. A representative population of adults aged 50–90 years living independently (not institutionalised) was selected in each participating country, and the actual sample size came very close to the target of 2,000, ranging from 1,854 to 2,417. The total European sample comprised 12,478 respondents. In this paper, mean differences in general and domain-specific life satisfaction between the six countries including age groups and gender are reported and discussed with respect to contextual national characteristics. In general the findings showed a high level in all chosen indicators of life satisfaction across the six countries. National differences depended on the domain under consideration, but the results showed in general that The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Austria had higher values of life satisfaction compared to Sweden and Italy.


  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences


  • ISSN: 1613-9380
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions