Welcome to the website for The Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old – SWEOLD!

SWEOLD is an ongoing, nationally representative survey of the older population in Sweden. The first data collection was conducted in 1992, and has been repeated in 2002, 2004, 2011, 2014 and 2021. Older adults are asked questions about their actual living conditions in a number of areas relevant to older people, these include health, health and social care, financial resources, housing, occupation, and everyday activities. The survey also includes a few basic tests on physical and cognitive performance.

The study sample is based on the sample frame for the Swedish Level of Living Survey (LNU), which was initiated in 1968. The SWEOLD sample consists of people who were previously included in LNU but have since aged out of the study which has an upper age limit of 75. Because the surveys are linked on an individual level, SWEOLD data provides the opportunity to follow individuals for over 50 years. A supplementary sample is taken for each data collection to ensure that the data continues to be representative of the current older population.

Photographers: Victor Celis, Sofia Strååt, Sandra Humer, Josefin Linsdtröm

Results from the SWEOLD survey are important for creating an understanding of older people’s living conditions based on up-to-date facts. The repeated design allows for analyses of how these living conditions change over time. Participants’ responses to the interviews are used in research and in statistical reports, which in turn form a foundation for the discussion with politicians and decision makers concerning older people’s living conditions.

The first article based on the most recent SWEOLD data collection has now been published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health! Results highlight the large heterogeneity within the Swedish population aged 77+ in relation to lifestyle changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The “younger old” (77-84 years) experienced greater changes than the “older old” (85+ years), especially in social interactions with family. Findings also indicate large age differences in internet use, which require attention to prevent digital exclusion of an already vulnerable group. 

The operating chief is Associate Professor Carin Lennartsson who, together with Professor Johan Fritzell, is responsible for the survey.

For a more detailed description of the survey, please see:
Lennartsson, C., Agahi, N., Hols Salen, L., et al., (2014). DATA RESOURCE PROFILE: The Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old (SWEOLD). International Journal of Epidemiology, 43, 731–738, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyu057