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 the health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 80,000 individuals aged 50 or over from 28 European countries. It is harmonized with the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and  it is a role model for several aging 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.To watch a video with Hebrew subtitles click here

Eleven countries contributed data to the 2004 SHARE baseline study. They provide 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). Israel joined in 2005. The Czech Republic, Poland and Ireland participated in the second wave of data collection in 2006-7. Wave 3 of SHARE included 14 countries. Fifteen countries participated in the fourth wave of SHARE. (Israel did not participate in Waves 3 or 4, due to lack of funding). However, Israel rejoined the SHARE enterprise in the fifth wave (the third wave of SHARE-Israel), and the data from that wave were first released on March 2015. Most of the countries that participated in wave 4 were also part of wave 5, with the exception of Poland, Portugal and Hungary. One new country has joined SHARE in that wave: Luxembourg. More than 68,000 respondents have been interviewed in the sixth wave of SHARE during 2015, and one new country: Croatia. The data from this wave is available since March 2017. The field work for the seventh wave of SHARE has been completed in October 2017. This wave includes all EU26 countries as well as Switzerland and Israel.


The 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 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 particularly late-life immigration in a diverse cultural context, and the experience of aging among minority populations. The data are collected in three languages, Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. To date, five waves of the survey have been fully completed in Israel, in 2005-6, 2009-10, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

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 began 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. 

A total number of 2,794 respondents were interviewed during the field work of the third wave of SHARE-Israel in 2013. As in previous waves, the interview was conducted in three languages, targeting three major ethnic subgroups in Israel. In total, 1,896 interviews were in Hebrew, 188 were in Arabic and 515 were in Russian. 1,692 respondents are from the longitudinal sample and 638 were added as a refreshment sample in order to keep the sample representative of the study. In addition, 195 exit interviews on deceased respondents were collected from confidants of these respondents.


The fourth wave of SHARE-Israel was collected during 2015. A total of 2,190 interviews were collected (1,566 in Hebrew, 220 in Arabic and 404 in Russian), 155 of them were “end-of-life” interviews.

SHARE-Israel 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 retention rate in this wave was 81%, and a total of 2,800 interviews were collected during field-work.

In wave 4 2,190 interviews were collected during field-work, and the retention rate in the panel sample was 72%.

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  the  
Israel Gerontological Data Center (IGDC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The IGDC was established with the help of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and is supported by the Ministry for Social Equality.