Below upper secondary education – less than primary education, primary education, basic education, vocational education for youngsters without basic education.

Daily self managing and self servicing – ability/inability to cope with daily activities like dressing (incl. putting on shoes or socks); walking across the room; having a bath or shower; eating (incl. cutting the food); going to bed or getting out of bed; shopping.

Elderly person – person aged 50 and older.

Frequent visits to the doctor – has visited the doctor five or more times during the last 12 months.

Limitations of everyday activities – inability / partial inability to cope with everyday activities such as getting dressed (incl. putting on shoes or socks); walking across the room; having a bath or shower; eating (incl. cutting the food); going to bed or getting out of bed; shopping.

Main contact person – the person who has contact with the respondent the most often and with whom the respondent discusses important daily issues.

Medically diagnosed diseases – the disease diagnosed by the doctor which is treated or which the patient is suffering from.

Personal care help with everyday activities.

Rural inhabitants – persons living in rural settlement. Rural settlements include small towns and villages.

Social network – the network of a person’s social relations.

Symptoms of diseases – the following symptoms of diseases having occurred during the last six months: 1. Pain in one’s back, knees, hips or any other joint. 2. Heart trouble or stenocardia (angina pectoris), chest pain during exercise. 3. Breathlessness, difficulty in breathing. 4. Persistent cough. 5. Swollen legs. 6. Sleeping problems. 7. Falling down. 8. Fear of falling down. 9. Dizziness, faints or blackouts. 10. Stomach or intestine problems, including constipation, air, diarrhoea. 11. Incontinence or involuntary loss of urine. 12. Fatigue. 13. Other problems.

Tertiary education – professional secondary education based on secondary education, higher education, Master’s and Doctor’s degree.

Upper secondary education – vocational training based on basic education, general secondary education, vocational secondary education based on basic education, professional secondary education based on basic education, vocational secondary education based on secondary education.

Urban inhabitants – persons living in urban settlements. Urban settlements include cities, cities without municipal status, towns and town-municipalities.


SHARE (the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) is a European panel survey about elderly people’s health, ageing and retirement. This subject area is important because the European population is ageing. People aged 50 and older are asked about their social and economic experiences to analyse the connections between their health, economic position and social inclusion. It is essential to study people’s experiences and plans for retirement, so that the state can offer social insurance according to people’s needs and develop the medical, social and economic environment. The survey also aims to determine the impact of quality of life on health status and the existence of economic resources during retirement.

SHARE is conducted every two years. The four waves of the survey have been carried out in 16 European countries from 2004 to 2011. Estonia joined the survey with the fourth wave. From 2017, 28 European countries and Israel participating in the survey. It is planned to continue the survey until 2024. The panel consists of all previously surveyed people and each survey year new people are taken in, who also stay in the panel until the end of the survey.

SHARE is centrally coordinated by the Munich Centre for the Economics of Aging (MEA) (part of the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy). The research team consists of specialists from more than 10 European countries. Questionnaires are originally in English and translated into the languages of participating countries.

In Estonia SHARE is coordinated by Tallinn University Estonian Institute for Population Studies. The forth, sixth and seventh waves data collection was done by Statistics of Estonia. In 2019 eighth wave will take place and preparatory work and pilot survey will take place in 2018. SHARE is the widest survey on the elderly population (persons aged 50 and older) ever done in Estonia. The survey is financed by the European Commission and Tallinn University.


Statistical Classification of Regional Units of Estonia

The regional division used is based on the Statistical Classification of Regional Units of Estonia. The data are published by the following regions:


Northern Estonia

Harju county


Western Estonia

Hiiu, Lääne, Pärnu and Saare counties


Central Estonia

Järva, Lääne-Viru and Rapla counties


North-Eastern Estonia

Ida-Viru county


Southern Estonia

Jõgeva, Põlva, Tartu, Valga, Viljandi and Võru counties


More information about the survey can be found at


Up to now, such a detailed survey about the elderly population has never been carried out in Estonia. Some information about their health, employment, coping and expenditures can be obtained from other surveys, where the highest age limit has not been determined. But the increase in the share of elderly population has created the need to study their economic and social coping on a deeper level. The society has to adapt to the ageing population, because it means a growing need for social and health services, greater expenditure on social protection and a decrease in labour force.


Jana Bruns

Social Statistics Department

Tel. +372 625 9306

Updated: 10.07.2018