People work more years before retirement - Produkte Eurostat Aktuell

null People work more years before retirement


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In 2018, employment rates for men and women aged 55 to 64 years were higher, at 65% for men and 52% for women, than the average rates for all adult men and women (60% and 48%) in the European Union (EU).

The most striking aspect is the rapid pace at which employment rates for people aged 55 to 64 years increased between 2003 and 2018 (with little or no impact from the global financial and economic crisis). This was particularly notable in relation to the growing proportion of women in work.


Employment rate by age group, 2003 - 2018

The source dataset is accessible here.


Between 2003 and 2018, the employment rates for this age group increased in all EU Member States except Greece. In Slovenia and Bulgaria, the employment rate for people aged 55 to 64 years doubled in this period, and it rose at an even faster pace in Slovakia (2.2 times as high).

In 2018, employment rates among people aged 55 to 64 years were more than 70% in Sweden, Germany and Denmark. In contrast, there were seven EU Member States — Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Croatia, Greece and Luxembourg — where rates for this age group were less than 50%.


Employment rate of people aged 55 to 64 years in the EU Member States_(2018 data)

The source dataset is accessible here.


One way to try to increase financial security in old-age is to work longer. Older people who delay their retirement earn more money, accumulate additional pension rights and may be able to save some of the earnings or divert them to a private pension plan.

Although low, a growing share of the EU‑28 population aged 65 to 74 years continued to work. In 2018, more than one quarter (26%) of this age group in Estonia were employed, while rates above 15% were recorded in Romania, Lithuania, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Latvia.


Would you like to know more?

  • Are there more older women then older men in Europe?
  • How many people work after 55 years? And after 65 years?
  • Which type of jobs are most common with elderly workers?
  • What is the expected duration of a working life? Is there any gender difference?
  • As the number of pension beneficiaries will increase – what happens to the number pension contributors?
  • Do people believe that the retirement age needs to increase?

Take a look at the new publication 'Ageing Europe – looking at the lives of older people' that provides a broad range of statistics that describe the everyday lives of the EU’s older generations.


Cover of Ageing Europe 2019 edition


A selection of indicators is available as a digital publication, with interactive graphs.


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