, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1129–1151 | Cite as

Transport, unmet activity needs and wellbeing in later life: exploring the links

  • Susanne NordbakkeEmail author
  • Tim Schwanen


Using nationally representative data from Norway, this paper analyses the link between transport and wellbeing by considering the extent to which older adults believe that their needs for out-of-home activity participation remain unsatisfied. It demonstrates that such transport-related factors as holding a driving license and subjective evaluations of public transport supply shape the level of unmet needs for out-of-home activity. Other factors that help explain differences in the extent of unmet activity needs include actual participation in out-of-home activities, self-perceived health and problems with walking, outlook on life, residential location and indicators of social support and social networks. It is concluded that policymakers seeking to raise wellbeing above a minimum threshold of what counts as a decent life should enhance older adults’ ability to drive in old age and car availability, lower the distance to public transport stops, and improve the connectivity that public transport offers to destinations. Policies to improve wellbeing in later life should nonetheless move beyond silo thinking. Questions of mobility in later life require a cross-sector and holistic approach to policy that transcends the realm of transport planning.


Ageing Wellbeing Need Norway 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Transport EconomicsOsloNorway
  2. 2.School of Geography and the EnvironmentUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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