Ageing

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Links to case studies and other related materials

Key data

Whilst there is a wealth of data on ageing, a number of studies are regarded as 'key' – either through their subject/geographical coverage, their use of standard measures, their longevity, their usage among the research community or because they are used to create 'official' figures.

The majority of the data described are known as 'raw', 'primary' or 'source' data in the sense that they represent information that has been collected 'first-hand'; they are original data sources which may then be used for 'secondary' analysis by researchers not involved in the data collection process. The majority of these data are anonymised because they describe the attitudes, behaviour, circumstances and personal details of the individuals being studied. These types of data are heavily used by the academic and government research communities.

The UK Data Service provides access to the following primary data sources:

Study name Coverage Topics
Boomers and Beyond: Intergenerational Consumption and the Mature Imagination, 2006

2006 (qualitative)
Greater Manchester, England

life styles
finances
health
attitudes

British Household Panel Survey

Annually 1991 – 2009 (longitudinal)
1991 – 2001: Great Britain
2001 – 2009: United Kingdom
household
cohabitation
marriage
education
training
employment
ageing
retirement
quality of life

Census aggregate data

 

 

1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, 2011: England, Wales, and Scotland
1991, 2001, 2011: Northern Ireland
Data available at many geographical levels (e.g. county, district, ward, output area). Availability of topics and categories vary by census, country and geographical level
age (single years and various age bands)
limiting long term illness
general health
provision of care
employment
qualifications
occupation

Census flow data

1981-2001 England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland
Data available from Special Migration Statistics (SMS), Special Workplace Statistics (SWS) and Special Travel Statistics (STS for Scotland only) at different spatial scales
For 2001:
Migration by age and sex
Migration by age and long-term limiting illness
Commuting by age and sex
English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) 1998- continuing (longitudinal)
England
health
disability
retirement
social networks households
Eurostat New Cronos monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual
25 European Union countries plus Japan, the United States, the central European countries and other main economic partners of the Union
data from 1960 onwards depending on the variable and country selected
population
old age
dependency ratio projections
housing cost by age group
life expectancy
pension
General Lifestyle Survey 1971 – 2012 Great Britain smoking
drinking
households
housing
pensions
health
Grandparents and Teen Grandchildren: Exploring Intergenerational Relationships, 2003-2004 2003-2004 (qualitative) Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland

grandparents
family relationships
adolescents

Health and Lifestyle Survey, 1984-1985

Health and Lifestyle Survey: Seven-Year Follow-Up, 1991-1992

Health and Lifestyle Survey Deaths and Cancer Data, June 2009

1984 – 2009 (longitudinal) Great Britain reaction time
memory and reasoning
personality
dietary habits
exercise
work and leisure
alcohol
smoking
health
cancer/death registrations
Last Refuge, 1958-1959 1958-1959 (qualitative) England and Wales old age
residential care
welfare services
social isolation
National Child Development Study 1958 – continuing (longitudinal) Great Britain economic circumstances employment
family life
health behaviour
wellbeing
social participation
attitude
OECD Social and Welfare Statistics (inc. Pensions at a Glance) 1980 continuing, country level data
updated every two years
covering 30 countries
old age
benefits
health
family
social policy
On the Edge of Later Life 1930-1990 (qualitative) United Kingdom old age
retirement
grandparents
leisure time
ONS Opinions Survey, Quality of Life Module, December 2007 and January 2008 2007 – 2008 (repeated cross-sectional) Great Britain ageing
educational status
family members
employment
quality of life
safety and security
health
physical activities
Technology and Natural Death: a Study of Older People, 2001-2002 March 2001, June 2002  (qualitative) Sheffield, England quality of life
medical care
technology
social attitudes
Understanding Society Annually 2009 – continuing (longitudinal) UK household
cohabitation
marriage
education
training
employment
ageing
retirement
quality of life
United Kingdom Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People, 2006 2006 (cross-sectional) United Kingdom crime victims
domestic violence
pensions
social contact
general health
long-term illness
physical health
mental health
economic status
World Bank Africa Development Indicators 1960 onwards
annual time series data at country level for over 1,400 indicators
53 countries and 5 regional groups
mortality
life expectancy
population structure
World Bank World Development Indicators 1960 onwards
country level data
Over 200 countries
life expectancy
survival
age dependency ratio
population

Other key data publishers

National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

UK Statistics Authority

Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO)

Government and voluntary sector

 Academic centres and services

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