For reasons of comparability and for the sake of longitudinal analyses, many questions and items from the first survey in 1996 were retained unchanged in the following waves. In some areas, however, the instruments were modified and expanded, so questions about the Coronavirus pandemic were included in the 2020 survey. In particular, for individuals who participated in the survey again, the survey instrument was shortened to avoid re-capturing unchanged life circumstances and characteristics that were stable over time.

Overall the respondents were asked for information on the following topics:

  • employment and retirement, transitions, provision for old age
  • income, assets, old-age poverty, inheritances
  • volunteering, participation
  • digitalisation and technology
  • Social relationships: Family, partnership, friendship, loneliness
  • Informal help, support and care by relatives
  • Health, well-being, life satisfaction
  • age stereotypes and views on ageing, ageism, attitudes

The DEAS thus covers a broad spectrum of topics. The study focuses on the overarching issue of the interrelation between diversity, social inequality, and quality of later life. It is focused on two basic time perspectives: processes of social change and individual development over time. This involves an interdisciplinary link-up which notably includes socio-political, gerontological, sociological, psychological, economic and nursing science related issues.


Research instruments

Data Access