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, 380,000 in-depth interviews with 140,000 people aged 50 or older from 28 European countries and Israel have been conducted. Thus, SHARE is the largest pan-European social science panel study providing internationally comparable longitudinal micro data which allows insights in the fields of public health and socio-economic living conditions of European individuals, both for scientists and policy makers. SHARE has global impact since it not only covers all EU member countries in a strictly harmonized way but additionally is embedded in a network of sister studies all over the world, from the Americas to Eastern Asia.
SHARE has become ever more important as a tool for evidence-based policy making due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. SHARE is the ideal database to study the non-intended socio-economic and health consequences of the epidemiological containment decisions and the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic due to its life-course and multidisciplinary approach combining health with socio-economic data. The European Commission supports a new COVID-19 research project (SHARE-COVID19) with funds provided by Horizon 2020 and the Coronavirus Global Response.
SHARE has become a major pillar of the European Research Area over the last years. It was selected as one of the projects to be implemented in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in 2006 and given a new legal status as the first ever European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in March 2011. Since 2016 it is an ESFRI landmark. SHARE is centrally coordinated at the Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), a division of the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, directed by Prof. Dr. h.c. Axel Börsch-Supan, Ph.D. as Managing Director of SHARE-ERIC.