Answer to Written Question: Elderly population within response to COVID-19

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by Mr Gentiloni

on behalf of the European Commission


Eurostat[1], the statistical authority of the European Union, publishes information on the number of people aged 65 and over living in private households. These statistics highlight that a growing number of people aged 65 and above live alone. This applies especially to women. In the EU in 2019, the share of women older than 65 living alone in private households was 41%, compared to 23% for men in the same category[2].

Currently there is no specific data collection covering people living in private and public care homes or requiring care. The 2011 and 2021 population and housing censuses provide information on numbers of individuals living in institutions, although it is not possible to say whether these are care homes or some other type of institution (such as a hospital, hostel for the homeless, or prison). The Integrated European Social Statistics Regulation[3] foresees to launch feasibility and pilot studies in order to extend the coverage of the data collection to persons not living in private households.

The Commission has analysed the trend of ageing population and corresponding socio-economic effects, notably in the 2020 Eurostat publication ‘Ageing Europe – Looking at the lives of older people in the EU’[4], in the ‘2020 Report on the impact of demographic change’[5], in the ‘2018 Ageing Report’[6] and in the recent ‘Green Paper on Ageing’[7]. The 2018 Ageing Report also includes administrative-level data on the number of persons living in care homes (within the public long-term care system) in each Member State[8]. These figures are updated in the 2021 Ageing Report, published in May 2021[9]. Further publications in this area include the 2021 Long-Term Care Report, jointly prepared by the Commission and the Social Protection Committee[10].








[8] See Table III.1.128: Number of dependent people receiving institutional care (in thousands) – AWG reference scenario in the cross-country tables. See also Annex IV of the main report for details on data availability:



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