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01.06.2015 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 2/2015 Open Access

European Transport Research Review 2/2015

How poverty restricts elderly Germans’ everyday travel

European Transport Research Review > Ausgabe 2/2015
Flemming Giesel, Katja Köhler



Many elderly people are affected by poverty. Furthermore, old-age poverty is likely to increase in the future. However, the everyday travel behaviour of disadvantaged elderly people is not a focus of German transport research. Against this background, the aim of this paper is to examine the everyday travel of older people (65+) at risk of poverty using the example of Germany.


The empirical analysis is based on the country-wide survey “Mobility in Germany 2008”. A logistic regression has been undertaken alongside descriptive statistical analyses.


The analysis shows that elderly people at risk of poverty are less mobile, are restricted in their access to transport, make significantly fewer trips and cover less distance daily than the group with above-average income. Furthermore, the trips of disadvantaged older women in low-status residential areas are rather concentrated on the local residential environment.


The travel behaviour of elderly people is different depending on their income and gender. Disadvantaged older women in particular are characterised by limited mobility options and restricted everyday travel, which is concentrated to the local area even in deprived neighbourhoods. Further research has to examine if these restrictions lead to unsatisfied daily needs and could threaten the social participation of this growing group.
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