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Transport resources, mobility and unmet transport needs in old age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2012

Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo, Norway.
Address for correspondence: Randi Hjorthol, Institute of Transport Economics, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway. E-mail:


Previous research has shown that mobility and the ability to leave the home are among the essential aspects of older people's quality of life. However, surveys of older people's access to transport resources and the impact of mobility on welfare and wellbeing are few. Many previous studies are based on small samples or qualitative data. The questions addressed in this paper are how transport resources are distributed among different groups of older people, to which degree the transport needs of these groups are met and how this is related to their wellbeing. The empirical analysis is based on a Norwegian nationwide survey among 4,723 respondents 65 years and older. The respondents were asked about their access to transport resources, both private and public, health problems connected to use of transport modes, their daily activities and mobility, their uncovered transport needs and the importance of different activities for their life quality. The analysis reveals great differences between groups; especially between men and women, but also between different age groups and by different place of living. The special transport offered by the local authorities is seen as insufficient, and with increasing age a great deal of older people have low mobility and an uncovered transport need that reduces their life quality.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012 

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