SHARE, the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, is a research infrastructure for studying the effects of health, social, economic and environmental policies over the life-course of European citizens and beyond. From 2004 until today, 530,000 in-depth interviews with 140,000 people aged 50 or older from 28 European countries and Israel have been conducted in nine waves of data collection. According to its current statutes, SHARE would have ended in 2024 with its tenth wave.
However, SHARE has consistently increased its productivity in producing scientific output and support for evidence-based policy advice. In its SHARE-ERIC Council Meeting on 17 May 2022, the members of the SHARE-ERIC Council therefore unanimously adopted the decision to extend the duration of SHARE-ERIC beyond 2024.
"We are grateful that the Council members committed to SHARE after 2024. SHARE´s forward thinking future scientific agenda will support researchers and policy makers by providing data and research on pressing challenges like demographic change, health prevention and inequality. Our mission is to further produce a lot of valuable impact on academic research and data-driven policy recommendations,"
says SHARE-ERIC Managing Director Axel Börsch-Supan.
In 2011, SHARE became the first European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) ever. Over the past years, SHARE has proven its value multiple times. The risks to health even in modern times became obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic. SHARE reacted quickly and established two telephone surveys (Corona Survey 1 and 2). The released data allows researchers to examine the pandemic’s effects on people´s economic situation, social relationships and health. Furthermore, the effects of demographic change in Europe´s ageing societies are getting dramatic with the baby boomers retirement. Therefore, SHARE´s longitudinal data, cross-country comparisons and research with a lifecycle perspective are needed to investigate how people cope with a changing world – who gains and who loses.
Foundation for the Council’s decision and a first step to long-term sustainability was the creation of the SHARE Berlin Institute in March 2022, which will house the international coordination of SHARE. Both processes - the move of SHARE from Munich to Berlin with the founding of the SHARE Berlin Institute and the continuation of SHARE-ERIC beyond 2024 - are key steps to sustain the SHARE research infrastructure with a stable central organization.