Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 41–71 | Cite as

Active Ageing Index as an Evidence Base for Developing a Comprehensive Active Ageing Policy in Russia

  • Maria VarlamovaEmail author
  • Anna Ermolina
  • Oxana Sinyavskaya


The concept of active ageing shifts the focus of the discussion of the consequences of ageing from negative expectations of a growing burden of public costs to the analysis of opportunities of using the potential of elderly people. This paper is aimed at testing the applicability of international approaches to measure active ageing to the situation in Russia. For this purpose, we use the international Active Ageing Index (AAI), developed by the experts from the European Centre Vienna. The AAI is a multidimensional composite index that consists of 22 indicators and measures the untapped potential of older people in four major areas: (1) employment, (2) participation in society, (3) independent, healthy and secure life, (4) capacity for active ageing. Our empirical estimation of the AAI is based on several Russian and international surveys, which provide relatively high comparability of the AAI results for Russia with EU countries. The results show that the AAI equals 30.9 points, which means about 69 % of unused potential for active ageing of the elderly in Russia, and corresponds to the 18th place in ranking of 29 European countries. Russia performs relatively better in the employment and capacity for active ageing domains. It is in the bottom of the ranking in the independent, healthy and secure life domain.


Active ageing Index Elderly Public policy Russia 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.


  1. Balabanova, D., Roberts, B., Richardson, E., Haerpfer, C., & McKee, M. (2012). Health care reform in the former soviet union: beyond the transition. Health services research, vol., 47(2), 840–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boudiny, K. (2013). ‘active ageing’: from empty rhetoric to effective policy tool. Ageing and society, vol., 33(06), 1077–1098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Comprehensive Monitoring of Living Conditions of the Population (CMLC) (2011).
  4. European Health and Life Expectancy Information system (EHLEIS) (2010, 2012).
  5. European Social Survey (ESS) (2010,2012).
  6. European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) (2010,2011,2012).
  7. European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) (2010, 2012).
  8. Golofast, V. B. (2006). Sotsiologia Sem’i. Stat’i raznyh let. [Sociology of Family. Diverse articles], Aleteya, St. Petersburg.Google Scholar
  9. Gora, M., Rohozynsky, O. and Sinyavskaya, O. (2010). Pension Reform Options for Russia and Ukraine: A Critical Analysis of Available Options and Their Expected Outcomes, DIW, ESCIRRU Working Paper No. 25,
  10. Help Age International (2013). Global AgeWatch Index 2013: Purpose, methodology and results.
  11. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) (2010). Global Burden of Disease Study.
  12. Levin, V. (2015). Time to retire: analysis of older Russians’ retirement decisions. World Bank, March: Draft Working Paper Scholar
  13. Maleva, T., & Sinyavskaya, O. (2010). Retirement age rising: pro et contra. The journal of new economic association, 8, 117–139.Google Scholar
  14. Marmot, M., Shipley, M. J., & Rose, G. (1984). Inequalities in death – specific explanations of a general pattern. Lancet, 83, 1003–1006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nardo, M., Saisana, M., Saltelli, A., & Tarantola, S. (2005). Tools for composite indicators building. Ispra: European Commission.Google Scholar
  16. Russian Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) (2011).
  17. Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) (2010).
  18. Saltelli, A. (2007). Composite indicators between analysis and advocacy. Social Indicators Research, vol., 81(1), 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shkolnikov, V. M., Field, M. G., & Andreev, E. M. (2001). Russia: socioeconomic dimensions of the gender gap in mortality. In T. Evans, M. Whitehead, F. Diderichsen, A. Bhuiya, & M. Wirth (Eds.), Challenging inequalities in health - from ethics to action (pp. 138–155). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shkolnikov, V. M., Andreev, E. M., Leon, D. A., McKee, M., Meslé, F., & Vallin, J. (2004). Mortality reversal in Russia: the story so far. Hygiea Internationalis, vol., 4(4), 29–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shkolnikov, V. M., Andreev, E. M., Jasilionis, D., Leinsalu, M., Antonova, O. I., & McKee, M. (2006). The changing relation between education and life expectancy in central and eastern Europe in the 1990s. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol., 60(10), 875–881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shkolnikov, V. M., Andreev, E. M., & McKee, M. (2013). Components and possible determinants of decrease in Russian mortality in 2004-2010. Demographic Research, 28(32), 917–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sidorenko, A., & Zaidi, A. (2012). Active ageing in CIS countries: semantics, challenges, and responses. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, 2013, 15.Google Scholar
  24. Sinyavskaya, O. (2005). Pension reform in Russia: a challenge of low pension age, PIE Discussion Paper, No. In 267 (March). Project on: Intergenerational Equity, Hitotsubashi University (Japan) Scholar
  25. Sinyavskaya, O. (2012). Pension rising policy of recent years: results and limitations. SPERO, 16, 39–58.Google Scholar
  26. UNECE (2012). Results of the pilot study of active ageing index in Georgia.Google Scholar
  27. UNECE / European Commission (2015). Active Ageing Index 2014: Analytical Report.Google Scholar
  28. Walker, A. (2014). The concept of active ageing, Iin A. Walker, Ch. Aspalter (eds.), Active Ageing in Asia. Taylor and Francis, Kindle Edition: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Walker, A., & Maltby, T. (2012). Active ageing: a strategic policy solution to demographic ageing in the European Union. International Journal of Social Welfare, vol., 21(s1), S117–S130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. WHO (2002). Active ageing: a policy framework. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  31. Zaidi, A. (2014). Detailed Information on Indicators used for the Active Ageing Index, 2014.Google Scholar
  32. Zaidi, A., Gasior, K., Hofmarcher, M., Lelkes, O., Marin, B., Rodrigrues, R., Schmidt, A., Vanhuyss, P., Zolyomi, E. (2013). Active Ageing Index 2012. Concept, Methodology and Final Results, Project: Active Ageing Index (AAI) UNECE Grant No: ECE/GC/2012/003.Google Scholar
  33. Zasimova, L., Sheluntcova, M. (2014). Measuring active aging for government policy planning: a case of Russia, basic research program: working paper, series: public administration, WP BRP 11/PA/2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Varlamova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Ermolina
    • 1
  • Oxana Sinyavskaya
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Higher School of EconomicsMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations