Social networks amongst older people in OECD countries: a qualitative comparative analysis

Philip Haynes, Laura Banks, Michael Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using data from The International Social Survey Programme this paper compares the social networks of those aged 50 and above in 18 countries. Two different types of networks are conceptualised: family contact and community participation. Using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), international sets are established for four groups of countries. Set one includes countries that only satisfy a minimal number of social network thresholds (France, Norway, Great Britain, Denmark and the USA). Set two includes a homogeneous group of countries with above-threshold rates of marriage and community participation (Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria and Canada). Other separate sets with stronger social network features comprise Eastern European countries (set three) and Southern Europe countries (set four) in these sets, family contacts are above the international country average but community participation is less strong. Country sets with low comparative threshold scores in the QCA are argued to be likely to be in greater need of government care policy interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of International and Comparative Social Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2013


  • older people
  • social networks
  • QCA


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