Measuring age-related social exclusion in a cross-border context

CARDI Involvement
CARDI grant programme


  • Professor Tom Scharf, Social Gerontology, NUI Galway
  • Mr Padraic Ward, Health Economics, NUI Galway
  • Professor Vanessa Burholt, Social Gerontology, Swansea University


  • Northern Ireland
  • Republic of Ireland

Project Lead

Dr Kieran Walsh, National University of Ireland Galway



Funding source

CARDI - Data Mining 2013





Last updated

6th June 2014
This project will identify indicators of social exclusion relating to material and financial resources; social relations; services, amenities and mobility; civic activities; space and place; and cultural aspects.

These will be used to construct a comparative analysis of social exclusion among older people in Ireland, north and south, and to investigate the feasibility of constructing a cross-border measure of age-related social exclusion.

Dr Walsh will be advised by an expert group from nine different countries. 

The report for this research was published in early 2014. 

Key findings from the research (Ward et al., 2014)

  • There are many gaps in our knowledge of social exclusion as it affects older people in Ireland, North and South. There is a particular lack of data on issues such as social isolation and loneliness and neighbourhood and community.
  • Where data do exist they tend to be about ownership of items or use of services, not about whether older people are excluded from these things.
  • Older people in ROI are more likely to vote, volunteer and provide care for relatives than those in NI; they are more than twice as likely to go to films and cultural events.
  • Older people in NI have lower incomes than in ROI (Hillyard et al., 2010) but are more likely to have cars and central heating. They may benefit from other public services or may enjoy a lower cost of living than their counterparts in ROI.

The full report and research brief are available through links on this page.