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Active Ageing Index 2012

Concept, Methodology and Final Results

European Centre Vienna
(Authored by Asghar Zaidi / Project Coordinator, Katrin Gasior, Maria M. Hofmarcher, Orsolya Lelkes, Bernd Marin, Ricardo Rodrigues,
Andrea Schmidt, Pieter Vanhuysse and Eszter Zolyomi) Report submitted to European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and to the UNECE,
for the project Active Ageing Index (AAI), UNECE Grant No: ECE/GC/2012/003.
March 2013

With updated annexes containing detailed information on indicators used for the 2018 AAI. For the original annexes please click here


Chapter 1: Conceptual considerations in measuring active ageing

Chapter 2: Selection criteria for and requirements of active ageing indicators

Chapter 3: Choice of the aggregation methodology for the AAI

Chapter 4: Final Results for EU27 Member States

Chapter 5: Synthesizing discussion


Annex A.1: Information on AAI indicators for the first domain: Employment

Annex A.2: Information on AAI indicators for the second domain: Participation in Society

Annex A.3: Information on indicators for the third domain: Independent and secure living

Annex A.4: Information on indicators for the fourth domain: Capacity for active ageing


The work reported here benefited greatly from the input and advice of members of the UNECE Active Ageing Expert Group, during the two meetings on 10-11 May 2012 and 11-12 October 2012. These experts are: Pearl Dykstra (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Kenneth Howse (The Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, UK), Jean-Marie Robine (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), Koen Vleminckx (Belgium Federal Ministry of Social Security), Giampaolo Lanzieri (Eurostat), Anne Sonnet (OECD), Andres Vikat (UNECE), Luciana Quattrociocchi and Lidia Gargiulo (both from the Italian National Institute of Statistics, ISTAT), Angela Storey and Jen Beaumont (both from United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics, ONS), Anne-Sophie Parent (AGE Platform Europe) and Robert Anderson (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions).

Comments received from Ralf Jacob and Kasia Jurczak (both from Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission) and Vitalija Gaucaite Wittich and Evita Sisene (both from Population Unit, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) at various stages of the project had been extremely valuable and are gratefully acknowledged here.

Useful contributions of Fritz Von Nordheim (Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission) during the 1st Expert Group meeting and that of representative from the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia during the 2nd Expert Group meeting are also acknowledged. In addition, the work reported benefited from the comments made by Michael Fuchs (during the internal AAI project meetings) and graphs prepared by René Czerny of European Centre Vienna. Editorial comments received from Sean Terry of Oxford Brookes University are also thankfully acknowledged.

Asghar Zaidi has been the lead researcher, and he also coordinated the overall AAI project (with the support of Bernd Marin); based at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna (as Director Research, until 1st September 2012) and then at the Centre for Research on Ageing / the ESRC Centre for Population Change, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, the United Kingdom (as Professor of International Social Policy). The views expressed here are not necessarily shared by the European Commission or the UNECE. Comments and suggestions for improving the AAI are welcome. Please email them to and, mentioning ‘Active Ageing Index’ in the subject of the email. All errors and interpretations will remain the sole responsibility of the authors.