In research on environmental conditions for ageing, regional divisions, especially those relating to urban- rural differences, are frequently neglected. Data collected in the EU funded project MOBILATE, conducted in 2000 in urban and rural regions of five European countries (Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the Netherlands) with different welfare regimes and diverging geographical and cultural conditions, enable us to compare patterns of elder men‚s and women‚s everyday life, their personal resources, and the environmental conditions prevailing in the areas they live in. The sample included N=3950 persons aged 55 years or older, disproportionately stratified according to gender and age. Standardised questionnaires and a diary were used to assess the essential features of the community and various aspects of everyday life that are important for autonomy and well-being in old age. Objective conditions were related to subjective evaluations of neighbourhood, services, the possibilities to pursue leisure activities, and satisfaction with life. Results show that e.g., political and economic change in eastern Europe and the former GDR has brought about similarity among elderly persons‚ objective housing and neighbourhood circumstances, but that average data submerge clearly existing urban/rural differences. Italy, to give another example, is an industrialized country with a strong drive to modernization, but socio-economic circumstances and traditional values of rural older people continue to diverge significantly from those of their counterparts in urban areas. In general, comparison showed similarities in basic human conditions, but also remaining differences in both neighbourhood amenities and patterns of everyday life.