Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 25–40 | Cite as

Active Ageing Index: Application to Spanish Regions

  • Vicente Rodriguez-RodriguezEmail author
  • Fermina Rojo-Perez
  • Gloria Fernandez-Mayoralas
  • Rodrigo Morillo-Tomas
  • Joao Forjaz
  • Maria-Eugenia Prieto-Flores


The World Health Organization definition for active ageing and the approach and measurement made by the UNECE/EC to define an Active Ageing Index (AAI) are the starting points for this work. This paper reflects on the proposed methodology of the European AAI for measuring and adapting it to sub-national spaces, in this case Spain and its regions. Consistently, evaluation of specific data sources and indicators that can be built from them, trying to homogenise with the national-level AAI, according to its calculation methodology, are also essential objectives of this paper. In general, Spanish data sources are broadly similar to those which have been used for calculating the AAI in Europe, while some limitations, difficulties for homogenization and distortions are inevitable due to the AAI specificity. These factors have conditioned the calculation of some indicators, tentatively replaced by other alternatives and approximations. The AAI for Spain, calculated on the basis of Spanish data sources, is consistent with the European AAI, although slightly lower. However, it is closely connected with other general indicators in Spain (Gross Domestic Product, Synthetic Quality of Life Index, New Index of Human Development) to differentiate the level of economic and social development of the Spanish regions. The future development of the AAI in Spain requires delving into the use of more adequate indicators and weights, and more crucially advancing its usefulness to assess the public policies for the elderly in Spain. In addition, it aims to extend its use to certain Latin American countries.


Active ageing Data sources evaluation Domains Public policies Spain 



This research was carried under the ELES Project (Ageing in Spain Longitudinal Study) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Competitiveness (National R&D&I Plan, Ref. CSO2011-30210-C02-01, PI. V. Rodriguez-Rodriguez). It is connected with other ongoing projects: i) the thematic networks ENACTIBE (Active Ageing in Ibero-America) (MINECO, ref. CSO2015-71193-REDT, PI. V. Rodriguez-Rodriguez) and RIIIES (Ibero-American Research Network on Ageing and Society, PI. F. Villar); ii) ENVACES project (Building the Active Ageing in Spain: self-assessment, determinants and quality of life expectations) MINECO/FEDER/ UE, ref. CSO2015-64115-R; PI. F Rojo-Perez); iii) ENCAGE-CM programme (Active Ageing, Quality of Life and Gender) (Community of Madrid and European Social Fund; ref. S2015/HUM-3367; Coord. G. Fernandez-Mayoralas). The authors thank Asghar Zaidi and the Editorial Board of the International Seminar of the Active Ageing Index, the Editor of the Journal of Population Ageing, and the two anonymous referees for their valuable comments that have helped to improve this paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This study has not received any private funding and has been carried out without involving human participants.

Informed Consent

No informed consent has been necessary.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicente Rodriguez-Rodriguez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fermina Rojo-Perez
    • 1
  • Gloria Fernandez-Mayoralas
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Morillo-Tomas
    • 1
  • Joao Forjaz
    • 2
  • Maria-Eugenia Prieto-Flores
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Group on Ageing (GIE-CSIC), Institute of Economics, Geography and DemographySpanish National Research CouncilMadridSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Health Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of GeographyUNEDMadridSpain

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