Welcome to SHARE-Israel

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 55,000 individuals from 20 European countries aged 50 or over. It is harmonized with the
U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSAand has become a role model for several ageing surveys worldwide. SHARE has become a major pillar of the European Research Area, selected as one of the projects to be implemented in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in 2008 and given a new legal status as the first ever European Research Infrastructure Consortium (SHARE-ERIC) in March 2011.

Eleven countries have contributed data to the 2004 SHARE baseline study. They are a balanced representation of the various regions in Europe, ranging from Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden) through Central Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands) to the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy and Greece). The Czech Republic, Poland and Ireland joined SHARE in 2006, and participated in the second wave of data collection in 2006-7. The fourth wave included 15 countries.

The data of the fifth wave ot SHARE and the third wave of SHARE-Israel, was first release in March 31st, 2015. Most of the countries that participated in wave 4 were also part of wave 5. Exceptions are Poland, Portugal and Hungary. One new country has joined SHARE in this wave: Luxembourg.

Israel had joined SHARE in 2004, and is an integral part ever since. The fieldwork of the first Wave of SHARE-Israel was conducted between October 2005 and July 2006, among 1,771 households in Israel and a total of 2,598 individual face-to-face interviews. The second wave of SHARE-Israel have begun in August 2009 and ended a year later (August 2010), and thus turned SHARE-Israel into a longitudinal survey. The fieldwork of the third wave took place during 2013 in parallel to the fifth wave of the general SHARE survey.

Please note that In Europe, but not in Israel, the third wave of SHARE survey is different from other waves by being a retrospective survey on the life-history of participants. This component of SHARE survey is known as SHARELIFE, and more information about it could be found in the main SHARE website.

SHARE–Israel panel survey offers a unique database for the examination of a wide range of aging and health-related issues of interest. This includes the international survey data, which include a wide range of socio-demographic and health variables, in addition to the implications of legislation that delayed the age of eligibility for receipt of retirement benefits, the effect of past and current trauma and of exposure to war and terrorism, the role of immigration and cultural diversity, the experience of aging among minority (Israeli - Arab) and special (ultra-orthodox Jewish) populations, and the effect of unique
ly Mediterranean practices (e.g. diet) on aging well. The data was collected in three languages, Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. To date, three waves of the survey have been fully completed in Israel, in 2005-6, 2009-10, and 2013.  The wave 3 data was released during spring 2015.

In the third wave of SHARE-Israel, two new modules have been introduced:
1. The mini childhood module (MC) contains questions on living conditions in the respondents´ childhood: accommodation, number of books in the residence,
performance in Maths and language, financial situation and childhood health conditions.
2. The IT module comprises four short questions on computer utilization at work and computer skills.

In addition to the new modules, 19 new questions that provide information on social exclusion were added in this wave. The new items are not added as a separate module, and are included in Consumption (CO), behavioral risks (BR) and household income (HH) modules. For a questionnaire cross-wave comparison table, please click here.

A total number of 2,332 respondents were interviewed during  the field work of the third wave of SHARE-Israelon 2013. As in previous waves, the interview was conducted in three languages, targeting three major ethnic subgroups in Israel. In total, 1,742 interviews were in Hebrew, 163 were in Arabic and 427 were in Russian. 1,692 respondents are from the longitudinal sample (1,273 in Hebrew, 163 in Arabic and 269 are in Russian), and 638 were added as a refreshment sample in order to keep the sample representative of the study population (467 in Hebrew, 13 in Arabic and 158 in Russian). In addition, 172 exit interviews on deceased respondents were collected from confidants of these respondents (110 in Hebrew, 30 in Arabic and 32 in Russian).*

*the numbers may change in the future, as additional longitudinal cases are still processed in MEA.

The Sample

The SHARE–Israel wave 1 sample contained 2,591 baseline participants, interviewed during 2005-6. They came from 1,753 households, selected by means of a multi-stage design that combined the probability sampling of statistical areas with the creation of a sampling list within each statistical area using the telephone directory database. The overall individual response rate for the first wave was 68.5% of the gross sample. The second wave, collected in 2009-10, corrected for under-representation (in Wave 1) of respondents who had immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union after 1989, adding 391 individuals from this specific population.

Household panel retention in the second wave stood at 78%. The individual panel retention rate in Wave 2 was 77%. In addition, more than half of the non responding partners in the first wave were interviewed in the second wave (N=210) as well as almost two thirds of all new spouses recorded since Wave 1. Among the 2000 individual panel respondents surveyed in Wave 2, 181 of the questionnaires were actually "end-of-life interviews" with a close informant, due to their death. Wave 3, which began in February, 2013, adds a target refreshment sample of 500 individuals recruited from the age group of 50-59 (from all three population groups, Hebrew, Arabic and Russian speaking), to keep the sample representative and to correct for the relative prior under-representation of younger men.

The SHARE-Israel data also provide analytic opportunities for examining the effect of immigration, and particularly late-life immigration, on health and health-related behaviors and outcomes. As noted, the SHARE-Israel sample is representative of the 50+ population in that country. Accordingly, some 20% of the respondents are immigrants who arrived after 1989 from the former Soviet Union, reflecting the relative proportion of this group in the population.

The data is freely available to the entire research community.


SHARE is centrally coordinated by Axel Borsch-Supan, Ph.D. at the
Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

SHARE-Israel is coordinated by
Israel Gerontological Data Center (IGDC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Israel Gerontological Data Center was established with the help of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and is supported by the Ministry for Senior Citizens