European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 187–202 | Cite as

Living conditions as predictor of elderly residential satisfaction. A cross-European view by poverty status

  • Celia Fernández-CarroEmail author
  • Juan Antonio Módenes
  • Jeroen Spijker
Original Investigation


Although there is an extensive body of literature on the use of residential satisfaction to measure the impact of housing conditions on well-being in later life, less is known about differences and similarities between sub-populations and national contexts. By means of a cross-European analysis (EU15), this study aims to examine how objective and subjective factors of living conditions shape the perceptions of older Europeans about the adequacy of their residential environment. Two patterns of housing quality are explored: (1) international heterogeneity of the EU15 countries, and (2) intra-national heterogeneity, where we distinguish between households at risk of poverty and those not at risk in the elderly population of these countries. Data were drawn from the 2007 wave of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey, providing a sample of more than 58,000 individuals aged 65 years and older. The housing characteristics surveyed were reduced using tetrachoric correlations in a principal component analysis. The resulting predictors, as well as control variables (including gender, age, health status and tenure), are assessed using multiple linear regression analysis to explore their association with a high or low level of residential satisfaction. Despite a generally positive assessment by older Europeans of their living space, major geographic and household income differences existed in the factors that explained residential satisfaction. Identifying factors associated with residential satisfaction in different household income groups and national contexts may facilitate the development of EU policies that attempt to make ‘ageing in place’ a viable and suitable option for older Europeans.


Ageing Residential satisfaction Living conditions Poverty Tetrachoric principal component analysis Europe 



This paper is a revised version of Chapter 5 of Fernandez-Carro’s (2013) PhD thesis “Ageing in Place in Europe: a multidimensional approach to independent living in later life”. Financial support for this research came from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness: Dr Módenes and Dr. Fernández-Carro under the R + D + i project “Re-defining the population-housing linkage in a crisis context. A cross-European view” (CSO2010-17133), Dr. Módenes under the R + D + i project “Geographical mobility and housing: Spain in an international perspective” (CSO2013-45358-R) and Dr Spijker under the “Ramón y Cajal” programme (RYC-2013-14851).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia Fernández-Carro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juan Antonio Módenes
    • 1
  • Jeroen Spijker
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d’Estudis DemogràficsBarcelonaSpain

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