The European population is aging. The main drivers of public spending on health care for people of 65 years and older are hospital admission and admission to long-term care facilities. High quality community care can be a cost-effective and quality solution to respond to the impact of ageing populations on health-care systems. It is unclear how well countries are equipped to provide affordable and quality community care. The aim of this article is to describe and compare community care delivery with care-dependent older people in Europe. METHODS: This study is conducted within the European Union-financed IBenC project [Identifying best practices for care-dependent elderly by Benchmarking Costs and outcomes of community care (FP7)] in which six European countries are involved. To compare the community care delivery with care-dependent older people in these countries, we performed a systematic comparison of macro indicators using metadata complemented with data from multinational surveys. RESULTS: Data on the following dimensions are described and compared: population of the country, governmental expenditures on health, sources of community health services funding, governmental vision and regulation on community care, community care organisations and care professionals, eligibility criteria for and equity in receiving care and the involvement of informal care. CONCLUSION: : Because of the variations in the European community care contexts, the growing demand for community care as a cost-effective and quality solution to the care burden of aging populations will have country-specific impacts. When learning from other countries' best practices, in addition to researchers, policy makers should take full account of local and national care contexts.