Gender Differences in Active Aging before and after Retirement Age in 18 European Countries

Bruno Arpino, Pompeu Fabra University
Aïda Solé Auró, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, UPF


Objectives: We assessed gender differences in the role of active aging activities among older people across 18 European countries.

Method: We computed smoothed age-specific gender differences in each type of active aging activities prevalence using the 2013 and 2015 waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe on individuals aged 50 to 85 (N= 76,063). Active aging included social participation, paid work, provision of grandchild care and physical activities.

Results: Active engagement reduces in all types of the considered activities with age. Active aging is strongly gendered. Both prevalence of engagement and type of activities differ for men and women. Men tend to be more involved in social participation activities, paid work and actives characterized by vigorous physical exercise. Gender gaps vary across countries, being bigger in Mediterranean and some Eastern European countries.

Discussion: Differ across countries in active aging hints to the importance of cultural and structural factors in influencing opportunities for aging well. Policies devoted at stimulating an active participation in society among older people should be particularly focused on the oldest-old and on women.

Keywords: Europe, Gender, active aging activities

Presented in Session 1129: Ageing and Intergenerational Relations