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Table 2  Personal circumstances, family/life events and context over the life course (means for continuous variables; percentages for binary variables)

From: The Best Years of Older Europeans’ Lives

  0–9 10–19 20–29 30–39 40–49 50–59 60–69 70 + 
Socio-demographic characteristics
Cohabiting with partner 0.0 10.9 85.5 93.6 92.8 89.6 85.4 76.0
Number of children (mean) 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.8 2.0 2.01 2.2 2.3
Years of education (mean) 1.5 8.3 11.0 11.2 11.2 11.0 10.1 9.2
In education 88.1 85.5 18.9 0.7 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
Working spell 0.2 59.7 86.7 81.2 80.8 75.3 43.8 3.0
Unemployment spell 0.0 3.2 2.9 2.0 2.9 4.9 3.3 1.1
Retirement spell 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.7 2.8 20.4 69.5 79.0
Other inactive status 99.9 34.3 42.1 30.0 25.7 30.3 32.9 20.5
Family/life events         
Start own household 0.0 17.0 71.2 7.9 1.3 0.4 0.2 0.0
Child birth 0.0 5.2 69.6 49.3 1.0 0.4 0.1 0.0
Death of partner 0.0 0.0 0.3 1.0 2.0 3.9 5.7 7.3
Death of a child 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 1.2 0.9 1.1 1.6
Illness 1.0 1.6 3.3 6.7 12.7 20.8 24.2 29.6
Financial hardship 1.3 3.4 12.6 14.9 12.8 10.9 7.4 5.5
Stress 0.5 2.3 9.6 17.0 23.0 25.0 18.5 13.0
Hunger 4.1 4.1 0.8 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0
Dispossessed due to persecution 1.1 0.8 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Institutionalized 0.8 1.3 1.1 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.5
Country context
War 38.5 15.3 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
  1. The sample consists of 17,322 men and women aged 50–80 at the time of the interview
  2. Source: SHARELIFE 2008–2009. The variable “Institutionalized” refers to living in orphanage, prison, labor/concentration camps, mental hospitals or nursing homes for the elderly