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Understanding Aging in a Middle Eastern Context: The SHARE-Israel Survey of Persons Aged 50 and Older

  • Howard LitwinEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

This article describes the development of SHARE-Israel, the survey of persons aged 50 and older in Israel, and preliminary results from an early data release. The introduction of an HRS-inspired computer-based survey into a Middle East country required linguistic and cultural adaptations of the survey mechanisms that had not been previously experienced in other countries. Preliminary findings showed that the majority group of veteran Jewish-Israelis aged 50 and over is in a favorable position in terms of health, employment status and household income compared to Arab-Israelis and to new immigrants to Israel from the Former Soviet Union. Arab-Israelis aged 50 and over are at greater risk due to greater disability and lower incomes. Recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union are at greatest risk. They report having the highest degree of depression, long term problems and activity limitation, the fewest children, low rates of home ownership and low incomes. Comparing the older Israeli population with their European counterparts revealed that Israelis are more depressed; more Israeli women are employed, and fewer Israeli men are retired; and household income in Israel is lower, but rises relatively when correcting for purchasing power parity. These trends point to several areas that will require attention in the formulation of public policy on behalf of the aging population in Israel.

Keywords

SHARE HRS Israel 50 and older Survey 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social WelfareThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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