Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Sample survey of income and expenditure (IES)
Einkommens- und Verbrauchsstichprobe (EVS)

Social Systems and Welfare
Relevance for this Topic
Country Germany
More Topics


Contact information

Research Data Centre of the Federal Statistical Office - Forschungsdatenzentrum des Statistisches Bundesamtes
65180 Wiesbaden
Phone: +49 0611 75-2420
Fax: +49 0611 75-3915
Email: forschungsdatenzentrum(at)

Timeliness, transparency

The first results from the section “General Issues” are released in the autumn of the reporting year. The first results from the section “Household Diary” are released two years after collection. Scientific Use Files (SUF) are released about 6 months after the results are published.

Type of data


Type of Study

Cross-section, regular

Data gathering method

Self-administered questionnaire


Access to data

Data set is available from the Research Data Centre. For scientific use, microdata of the EVS are available from the Research Data Centre as Scientific Use files (SUF) for scientists from Germany, for remote data processing and for on-site workplaces (guest scientists). All these data are with costs.

Conditions of access

only for projects limited in content and time (3 years at the most), data available following completion of an application and research contract; most data with fees.

Time depends on individual case

Anonymised microdata and aggregated tables (reports or dynamic tables) are available online without any preconditions.

Scientific Use Files: CSV data files

Data is only available in German. English documentation can be found here:


Wave 1: Data collected in 1962/63 with a sample size of 34,000 households. Only a public use file is available. Wave 2: Data collected in 1978. Wave 3: Data collected in 1998 with a sample size of 62,150 households. Wave 4: Data collected in 2003 with a sample size of 59,713 households. Wave 5: Data collected in 2008 with a net sample size of 58,984 households. For waves 2-5, only scientific use files and on-site access are available.


Quota sample: first into the 16 federal states, then according to the type of household (single, multiple persons, etc.), social position of the head of household, and household net income.

all German households with a net household income below 18,000 Euro per month

NUTS1 – Federal states

household sample, no age limits

NUTS1 – federal states

The IES provides data on: - Composition of household (age, year of birth, level of education etc.) - Household members' participation in professional life - Consumer goods consumption - Type and level of income - Type and level of assets and debt of private households - Wealth of private households - Consumption spending of private households (equipment existing in household etc.) - Region and place of living

• Statistisches Bundesamt. (2012). Mikrozensus 2011. Qualitätsbericht. URL:
. Retrieved 19.4.2013


Systematisches Verzeichnis der Einnahmen und Ausgaben der privaten Haushalte, Ausgabe 1998 (SEA 98) according to COICOP (Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose) ISCED-97 (International Standard Classification of Education) NUTS-08 (Nomenclature des unités territoriales statistiques)

No linkage possible by data user

Data quality

Sampling error: for the total results less than 0.5% Non-sampling error: controlled by plausibility checks and budgeting Non-response: Statistical units: in total 24%, therefrom within the reporting period: 6.5%

In principle, the IES 2008 is comparable with all waves in the past. There were minor changes, for example in the process of contacting the respondents. Results for the East German federal states are comparable for the wave 1993 and later only.

No changes


The Sample Survey of Income and Expenditure (IES) is an official statistic survey describing the economic situation of households in Germany. It consists of a very large sample and records incomes in a differentiated way by a quota sample that is stratified by social groups. Accordingly, it provides representative data that are deeply structured and in high quality. Differentiated analyses are possible for nearly all household types, with the exception of people living in institutions. Households with a monthly net income of more than 18,000 Euros are not considered because the data would not be statistically reliable. Foreigners are not sampled representatively.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Andreas Motel-Klingebiel
  • (see Partners)