SHARE is a unique panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks covering most of the European Union and Israel. To date, SHARE has collected three panel waves (2004, 2006, 2010) of current living circumstances and retrospective life histories (2008, SHARELIFE); 6 additional waves are planned until 2024. The more than 150 000 interviews give a broad picture of life after the age of 50 years, measuring physical and mental health, economic and non-economic activities, income and wealth, transfers of time and money within and outside the family as well as life satisfaction and well-being. The data are available to the scientific community free of charge at www.share-project.org after registration. SHARE is harmonized with the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and has become a role model for several ageing surveys worldwide. SHARE's scientific power is based on its panel design that grasps the dynamic character of the ageing process, its multidisciplinary approach that delivers the full picture of individual and societal ageing, and its cross-nationally ex-ante harmonized design that permits international comparisons of health, economic and social outcomes in Europe and the USA.