Ageing and Society

Social exclusion and insecurity among older Europeans: the influence of welfare regimes

JIM OGG a1c1
a1 Institute of Community Studies, London and Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Vieillesse, Paris.

Article author query
ogg j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


This paper explores social exclusion among older Europeans from ten different countries with three types of welfare regime: Nordic, Mediterranean and post-socialist. Data from the first round of the new European Social Survey are used to explore indicators of social exclusion. A measure of social exclusion and insecurity is constructed from indicators of: the regularity of meeting with friends and relatives, taking part in social activities, self-rated physical health and mental health, self-rated income, and the quality of the local area. The results confirm the findings of previous research that show a link between developed welfare regimes and low rates of social exclusion in old age. At the same time, more developed welfare regimes appear to deal less well with the effects of separation and divorce. The Mediterranean welfare regimes show distinctive signs of stress, which suggests that the supplementation or replacement of weakened immediate and extended family ties has not taken place. In all countries, a higher level of education appears to play a crucial role in reducing the chances of being insecure or socially excluded in old age.

(Accepted July 17 2004)

Key Words: social exclusion; insecurity; welfare regimes; Europe.

c1 Jim Ogg, Direction des Recherches sur le Vieillissement, Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Vieillesse, 49 rue Mirabeau, 75016 Paris, France. e-mail: