These days, more and more people in Germany are reaching an advanced or a very advanced age. But little is known about heir living situations. The purpose of this survey Old Age in Germany (D80+) is to show these living situations and the quality of life of people over 80 years of age comprehensively.

The survey Old Age in Germany (D80+) is a population representative study, with people who are 80 years old or older living in private households or in institutions, being interviewed. The survey is based on the previous study NRW80+, which was conducted in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Integrating the data of NRW80+ from the years 2019 into D80+, which is to be conducted in the other 15 states in 2020, will provide a detailed insight into this age group in Germany. This is all the more significant, because according to the German Federal Statistical Office this age group already made up 6.2 percent of the total population in Germany in 2017 and it will rise distinctly in the future.

The questionnaire is based on the German Ageing Survey (Deutscher Alterssurvey, DEAS). This makes it possible to combine the three data sets (DEAS, NRW80+ and D80+) and to analyze the living situations of people of 40 years and older, including very old age. For this purpose, the research instrument of NRW80+ and D80+ are adapted to the situation of people at the age of 80 years and older. If a person cannot be interviewed (e.g. because of health reasons), so-called “proxy-interviews” will be conducted. This means that another person, who is close to the respondent, can give information in their stead.

Die Befragung lehnt sich an den Deutschen Alterssurvey (DEAS) an. Das erlaubt eine Kombination der drei Datensätze (DEAS, NRW80+ und D80+) und damit Analysen zur Lebenssituationen von Menschen ab 40 Jahren bis ins hohe Alter. Dabei sind die Erhebungsinstrumente von NRW80+ und D80+ besonders auf die Situation der Menschen ab 80 Jahren angepasst. Im Falle der Nichtbefragbarkeit von Personen (z. B. aus gesundheitlichen Gründen) werden sogenannte Proxyinterviews geführt, das heißt, dass Personen, die der Befragungsperson nahe stehen, stellvertretend für diese Auskunft geben.

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

Insgesamt werden die Befragten zu folgenden Themenbereichen um Auskunft gebeten:

  • Lifestyle and social relationships
  • Health
  • Values and attitudes
  • Biography
  • Economic Situation

The survey Old Age in Germany (D80+) is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). It will be conducted jointly by those scientists of the German Centre of Gerontolgy (DZA) and scientists of ceres – Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health  at the University of Cologne.


The following staff members at ceres, University of Cologne are involved:

Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen

Prof. Dr. Michael Wagner

Prof. Dr. Susanne Zank

Dr. Sylvia Hansen

Dr. Roman Kaspar

  • Andrea Albrecht
  • Thomas Brijoux
  • Marcella Reissmann
  • Judith Wenner
  • Dr. Jaroslava Zimmermann




The following staff members at DZA are involved

Dr. Julia Simonson
Dr. Julia Simonson
Principal Investigator
Prof. Dr. Clemens Tesch-Römer
Prof. Dr. Clemens Tesch-Römer
Principal Investigator