Aging Research

Old Age in Germany (D80+)

Duration : 01/2019-04/2022
Project Board
  • Dr. Roman Kaspar
  • Dr. Julia Simonson
  • Prof. Dr. Clemens Tesch-Römer
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Vogel
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Wagner
  • Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen
  • Prof. Dr. Susanne Zank
Funding Institution: BMFSFJ

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

Background and Objectives

Despite the rapid growth of the population aged 80 and over in the total German population (Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), 2016), scientific information about this group has so far been scarce. Although there are specific studies thematically, methodologically and regionally, there is no representative assessment of the life situation and quality of life of this age group for Germany as a whole. However, this data is necessary: On the one hand, to be able to meet the special support needs in old age in the future. On the other, to be able to develop solutions for socio-political challenges such as social security in old age, as well as for questions of intergenerational justice.

The nationwide representative survey of the very old population in North Rhine-Westphalia NRW80+ has shown that most very old people are satisfied with their lives. Nevertheless, there are differences in the quality of life in old age, for example between men and women or between people in private households and nursing homes. In order to establish a corresponding data set throughout Germany, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) supports a representative survey of the population aged 80 and over in Germany (D80+) for three years.


The survey on the quality of life of people in old age is being extended to the whole of Germany in cooperation with the German Centre of Gerontology (DZA). A central goal is to achieve compatibility to the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) conducted at the DZA. This makes it possible to combine findings on middle age with those for old age.

The D80+ study builds on the study protocol and instruments developed in the representative study NRW80+. A total of 6,400 people aged 80 and older will be interviewed. The D80+ study also specifically addresses persons living in retirement homes and includes people who are no longer able to provide information themselves, via proxy interviews. It also integrates results from the current second survey of the NRW80+ study in NRW in order to make statements that are valid for the whole of Germany.

The D80+ study combines various disciplines (e.g. sociology, psychology, medicine, gerontology) located at ceres and is based on the interdisciplinary framework model designed to explain quality of life in old age (CHAPO model), which was developed for the NRW80+ study.