Active Ageing Index 2012
for 27 EU Member States
Presented by Asghar Zaidi
Professor in International Social Policy
On behalf of the AAI project team at European Centre Vienna and the project partners (Population
Unit, UNECE, Geneva and European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion,
Brussels), and also the UNECE Active Ageing Expert Group
A Seminar at Age-UK, London
28 March 2013
2
1
Background of the Active Ageing Index
Project
The Active Ageing Index Project
.... It has been a jointly-managed research project between the EC, the
UNECE and European Centre Vienna; undertaken within the framework of
activities of the EY2012 and marking the 2nd cycle of review and appraisal
of the implementation of MIPAA and its European RIS.
Its aims are:
.... to develop and launch the Active Ageing Index (AAI), using the latest data
available for older people, to serve as a new evidence gathering tool to
promote and monitor active ageing at the national level, for men and
women, and offer insights for mutual learning of most appropriate policy
implementations.
1.1 Policy context at the EU level
I.
Designation of 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing and
Solidarity between Generations has intended to highlight the valuable
contributions older people make 1) to society and the economy; 2) to
3) to encourage policy
identify and disseminate good practices; and
initiatives.
II. ‘Europe 2020 – A Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth’
for EU countries, which stresses the importance of: “the challenge of
promoting a healthy and active ageing population to allow for social
cohesion and higher productivity”
III. European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIPAHA) – under Innovation Union flagship initiative, setting out the target
to increase the average healthy lifespan of Europeans by 2 years by
2020; and in the process initiate measures to help older people remain
healthy and autonomous as they age.
1.2 Requirements from the AAI project’s TOR
I.
The need for a high-quality and independent evidence base, going
beyond analysis of individual indicators and to address how the
experience of ageing can be combined with improved health and a
greater degree of activity and autonomy.
II.
Insights drawn from the comparative analysis, which provides unique
insights to national policymakers that are not available from the
national data alone.
III.
Develop a framework and the methodology that can (credibly) select
and aggregate a diverse set of indicators of active ageing (and then
also disaggregate)
IV.
Undertake consultations with key stakeholders: national data
collection and policymaking communities; international experts; global
discussion forums, and in the process help shape future research and
policy agendas.
1.3 Consultations
Work has been undertaken:
.... in close consultation with the UNECE Active Ageing Expert Group, which
included UNECE and the European Commission, OECD, AGE Platform Europe,
Eurostat and national statistical agencies and policymaking bodies;
… by liaising with the UNECE’s Working Group on Ageing, formed by UNECE’s
Member States in 2008, particularly to see its potential for other non-EU
European countries (e.g. CIS countries).
Work presented and discussed at:
• World Demographic and Ageing Forum, St. Gallen, Switzerland (Aug 2012)
• UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing, Vienna (September 2012)
• Fifth Bureau Meeting of the Working Group on Ageing, Geneva (Nov 2012)
• The Closing Conference of the EY2012, Nicosia (December 2012)
2
Conceptualising and measuring
active ageing
2.1 Active ageing as a multidimensional and measurable
concept – definition arising from the AAI 2012 project
“Active ageing refers to the ageing phenomenon in which,
with rising life expectancy, people are expected and enabled
to continue to be 1)employed as well as engaged in other
2)unpaid productive activities and 3)live healthy, independent
and secure lives in their older ages. ”
Also, in view of diversities across European countries and
subgroups, it is essential to assess not just how countries and
subgroups fare in terms of the actual experiences of active
ageing in older ages but also measure the capacity of older
people that can still be tapped to improve their quality of life
and to make public welfare systems more sustainable.
2.2 Building blocks of the active ageing concept
Following the definition, there will be four domains of active ageing:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Employment of older workers
Social activity and participation of older people
Independent and secure living of older persons
Capacity for active and healthy ageing and enabling environment
Following these domains, the AA is to be defined in two dimensions:
I.Actual experiences of active ageing (1st, 2nd and 3rd domain) and
II.Capacity / ability to actively age (4th domain).
And, focus is on the current generation of ‘older’ population; thus
using a snapshot of their ageing experiences, on the basis of the
most recent evidence (no life course perspective!).
The gender disaggregation has been considered essential
in understanding fully the active ageing in EU countries
2.3 Methodology (1): Selection criteria for indicators
1.
Outcome indicators, instead of input or process indicators
2.
International comparability within EU27 countries … ruling out indicators
drawn from national data sources alone.
3.
Coverage of countries: the minimum syndicale to be EU27 coverage; and
data for the most recent year.
4.
Replicability of results essential: not necessarily annual; should rule out use
of special modules / studies!
5.
Data quality considerations e.g. Subjective variables subject to cultural bias,
thus used only when absolutely essential!
6.
Assigning normative value judgement in developing ‘positive’ indicators, with
the clear interpretation of “more-is-better”;
7.
Parsimony over number of indicators selected and smart use of left out
indicators for the ‘contextual analyses’ in the follow-up project.
2.3 Methodology (2): The domains and their indicators
2.3 Methodology (3): Aggregation to a composite AAI
The AA indicators are aggregated by following the HDI methodology:
• First, the data for each individual indicator is expressed as a positive
indicator, in percentage terms, whose upper goalpost is assumed as 100%.
• Second, for each domain, the arithmetic weighted average of the indicators
is calculated. Indicator-specific weights are drawn from the
recommendations of the expert group.
• Third, the overall aggregated indicator is then calculated as the arithmetic
weighted average of the domain-specific indices. The weights used for the
four domains are 35, 35, 10 and 20, respectively.
Advantage: it allows for the AAI to be displayed in an appealing manner by
informing policymakers about the active ageing shortfall observed in their country.
Disadvantage: Not useful in the decomposition of the composite index (unlike zscore methodology which was ruled out for its difficult numerical interpretation to
wider non-academic audience)
3
Key findings
3.1 Overall AAI (for all domains and men & women)
3.2 Gender differences (for all domains together)
1) The countries at the top
are SE and DK, followed by
IE, the UK and the NL
3. Women fare worse than
men, particularly so in the
three Southern European
countries but also in the NL
and LU
2) The bottom ranked countries
are largely CEECs (except CZ)
and also Greece
AAI ranking is in line with the aggregate measure of
GDP per capita (a proxy of wealth and standard of living)
A high correlation with per capita GDP shows that the countries with relatively higher standards-ofliving are generally more successful in generating active ageing experiences and better capacity
and enabling environment for active ageing among older people.
The correlation with per capita GDP is even higher when comparing with AAI for men only.
3.3 Two country examples (UK and NL) to highlight
the usefulness of AAI for policy insights
OVERALL
1
2
3
4
5
9
12
15
17
24
27
Sweden
Denmark
Ireland
UK
Netherlands
Germany
France
Italy
Spain
Greece
Poland
Social
participation
Employment
1
3
6
8
10
11
17
18
21
22
24
Sweden
UK
Denmark
Netherlands
Germany
Ireland
Greece
Spain
France
Italy
Poland
1
2
4
5
6
10
11
14
19
21
27
Ireland
Italy
Sweden
France
Netherlands
Denmark
UK
Spain
Germany
Greece
Poland
Independent living
Capacity for active
ageing
1
2
3
5
6
7
9
19
21
22
25
1
2
3
5
6
9
11
12
15
22
23
Denmark
Sweden
Netherlands
Germany
UK
Ireland
France
Italy
Poland
Spain
Greece
Sweden
Denmark
Netherlands
UK
Ireland
France
Germany
Spain
Italy
Poland
Greece
• They have almost the same AAI (overall) and show almost the same capacity
and enabling environment for AA, despite the fact that the NL is ranked higher
than the UK in terms of GDP per capita.
• The UK outperforms the NL in the employment domain index, but falls short in
the social participation domain;
• The gender disparity needs to be reduced in the NL (as can be seen for the
overall index as well as for the employment and the social participation domain)
4
Conclusions and future research
Conclusions
1. Several quite interesting and surprising results emerging, with the
methodology chosen provides strong policy insights due principally
to its comparative aspects but also due to the multidimensionality of
the index.
2. Nordic countries do very well in the active ageing indices, and
CEECs in general are ranked low – more research is required to
disentangle impact of institutional differences (such as tax-benefit
and social and health care systems’ differences) and differential
behavioural responses of the older people concerned.
3. Interesting aspect is the heterogeneity in AA outcomes across
different dimensions of active ageing (e.g. paid vs. unpaid work;
outcomes vs. capacity/environment) – worth exploring further in
pair-wise comparisons what countries can learn from each other!
Strengths
A transparent numerical exercise, with a potential to provide strong
policy insights in the current context of ageing societies and the
policy reform challenges in making public welfare systems
sustainable without compromising the QOL of older people.
Caveats
The coverage to EU27 and replicability requirements of the AAI have
identified critical data gaps (a typical challenge to be observed
when extending this work to non-EU countries, such as CIS
countries.
Essential future research
• Contextual analysis towards identifying sources of cross-national
differences is essential future work in this area
• Important to link active ageing experiences to positive outcomes:
•
how and what forms of active ageing raise QOL of individuals
concerned?
•
What impact of active ageing discourse on the financial /social
sustainability of public welfare systems?)
More details in the final report of the project
Active Ageing Index 2012
A Legacy of the European Year for Active Ageing
and Solidarity between Generations
By
Asghar Zaidi, Katrin Gasior, Maria M. Hofmarcher, Orsolya Lelkes, Bernd Marin,
Ricardo Rodrigues, Andrea Schmidt, Pieter Vanhuysse and Eszter Zolyomi
March 2013
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Active Ageing Index presentation 28March2013