Does inequality increase among older persons in Sweden? A multidimensional perspective

PI: Johan Fritzell

Professor in Social Gerontology

The number and proportion of older persons in Sweden is skyrocketing. Already in 2020, the number of people 75 years and above will pass 1 million. To study and analyse living conditions and inequalities among older persons is therefore of utmost importance. We do this from a multidimensional perspective and against a background of worrying trends and differences in incomes at older ages. In contrast to most other EU-countries, Sweden has, according to Eurostat data, experienced increases of relative poverty, and has one of the largest gender gaps in income among older persons.

An overall aim of this project is to study if these trends are also apparent in more detailed and multidimensional analyses of welfare and living conditions among persons aged 75+. We will also use this perspective to advance the Active Ageing Index that was developed during European year of active ageing in 2012. We will incorporate the inequality dimension into the index but also make it more relevant for the oldest old. In one subproject, we will focus specifically on the income gradient in mortality among the older segments of the population. The income-mortality relationship has lately been studied intensely. However, despite the fact that the vast majority of all deaths in rich countries nowadays occur at old age these studies have rarely ever included persons above working-age.