The German Centre of Gerontology (the acronym DZA derives from its German name “Deutsches Zentrum fuer Altersfragen”) is a federal scientific research centre with the focus on social participation, focusing in particular on the second half of life. The findings are the basis for social reporting and policy advice.

The DZA is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend).

The DZA belongs to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Ressortforschungseinrichtungen (Working Group of Research Institutes Funded by German Federal Government Departments) and is a member of the network of non-university research institutions Berlin Research 50 (BR50).

Together with the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), the DZA is one of four shareholders supporting the SHARE Berlin Institute (SBI), which is founded in 2022.

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Research at the DZA publishes articles on the following topics:

Corona-Pandemic and older people

Socio-economic issues and social participation in old age

  • work and retirement, transition into retirement, pension
  • income, wealth, poverty among the elderly, inheritances
  • housing and neighbourhood
  • volunteering
  • digitalisation and technology

social relationships and health

  • social relationships: family, friendship, loneliness
  • informal assistance, support and care by relatives
  • health, well-being, life satisfaction
  • ageism, attitudes


The DZA offers information services for the public. The Research Data Centre (FDZ-DZA) provides access to the micro-data of the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) and the German Survey on Volunteering (FWS) to scholars for non-commercial purposes and advise potential users of how to best deploy the DEAS or FWS data for their research goals.

An important task of the DZA is to report and process information and to provide advice on social policy. The Office of the Expert Commission on the Government Reports on Oder People  set up at the DZA by the German Federal Government is directly responsible for policy advice. The Office of the National Dementia Strategy supports the Federal Government, associations and municipalities in the development of the National Dementia Strategy.

Furthermore, the sociogerontological specialised library has an extensive collection of scientific and application-oriented literature on the subject of "age and aging". The collection is thematically oriented to the living conditions of old and aging people.


History of the DZA

The German Centre of Gerontology (DZA) was founded in 1974. In the first two decades of its existence, the institute worked exclusively as a scientific documentation and information center. The main task was to collect and process data and background informaion about the living conditions of eldery. At the beginning of the new millennium, the field of activity expanded, social and behavioral research on ageing was included. The DZA has developed into an internationally recognized research and policy-advice institute.