Well-Being of the Older Population in Europe and the U.S.

Aïda Solé-Auró, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Jennifer A. Ailshire, University of Southern California

As longevity increases there is an increasing emphasis on understanding quality of life at older ages. Indicators of subjective well-being provide an indication of how people evaluate the quality of various aspects of their lives. Better understanding of how older people assess their lives is important in understanding the value of differing approaches to providing support for older populations. Because the broader social and economic context in which people live can have implications for quality of life in old age, this study explores variability in reported subjective well being in multiple countries belonging to different welfare regimes. Differences in subsidized services or cash transfer programs of welfare regimes are linked to variability in the resources available for citizens. The analysis uses nationally representative data for older Europeans and Americans to examine how life satisfaction, optimism, pessimism and depression differ among the oldest old living in 12 countries.

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Presented in Session 195: Economic Well-Being in Later Life