Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change


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

First results are released three months after the end of the reporting year.

Type of data


Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Cross-section, regular

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)

Access to data

The dataset is available from the Research Data Centre. Scientific Use Files (SUF) are only available for scientific research and only for scientists in Germany. Depending on the level of detail, some detailed data is only available for on-site workplaces as well as there are some Campus-Files for teaching.

Conditions of access

Only for projects limited in content and time (3 years at the most), SUF available on application and after signing a data privacy commitment and a research contract, most data with fees.

Depending on individual case.

anonymised microdata, aggregated tables (reports or dynamic tables) available without any preconditions on website

Scientific Use Files: before 2007: ASC data files, since 2007: ASCII-, SAS- SPSS- and STATA-data files, data import routines for SPSS, SAS, STATA and UNIX. Public Use files: Campus Files: online available as CSV, SAS, STATA und SPSS data files

Data is available in German only, but study documentations are available in English for the waves 1985 to 2005 (available on


Microcensus (basic files): Source – 1973 to 2007: GESIS- MISSY, 2008 to 2011: quality reports (own calculations) Year N (Scientific use file) 1973 448,366 1976 442,791 1978 441,563 1980 440,824 1982 443,154 1985 437,603 1987 439,015 1989 385,831 1991 516,038 1993 513,830 1995 512,509 1996 509,243 1997 509,892 1998 507,861 1999 506,897 2000 503,185 2001 503,961 2002 503,075 2003 502,873 2004 499,849 2005 477,239 2006 496,815 2007 483,595 2008 about 483,000 2009 about 490,000 2010 about 490,000 2011 about 487,000


Microcensus 1972 to 1989: NUTS1 – federal states, classes of administrative district size, type of street (Anstalten vs. Großgebäude – institutions vs. large buildings). Microcensus 1990 and following: NUTS1 - federal states, regional class, building type (building size type); additional from 2005: reporting quarter

Area Sample (Cluster Sampling), Random Sample

NUTS1-federal states, for detailed analysis: microcensus regional file 2000

no age limit

Detailed Study: Work and productivity, Intergenerational Relationships Overview: Health and Performance, Social Systems and Welfare, Education and Learning, Housing, Urban Development and Mobility

• Ammermueller, A., Kuckulenz, A., & Zwick, Th. Aggregate unemployment decreases individual returns to education, In: Economics of Education Review, Volume 28 (2) (2009): 217-226. • Klein, M. Trends in the association between educational attainment and class destinations in West Germany: Looking inside the service class. In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Volume 29 (4) (2011): 427-444. • Statistisches Bundesamt. Mikrozensus 2011. Qualitätsbericht, 2012. URL:
. Retrieved 19.4.2013.


• ISO: ISO country classification • NUTS: Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics • WZ 2008: German Classification of Economic Activities, 2008 • ISCO 1988: International Standard Classification of Occupation, 1988 • KldB 1992: Classification of Occupations, 1992 • ISCED: International Standard Classification of Education

Linkage on individual level by data user not possible and not allowed , special statistical methods of data linkage (e.g. statistical matching) allowed only after permission by Research Data Centre.

Data quality

Change in organisation of field time: up to 2004 – one reference week per year, since 2005: continuous survey during the whole year


The Microcensus is the largest official household survey in the European Union. Since 1957 – in East Germany (including Berlin-East) since 1991 – the Microcensus has provided statistical information in a detailed, subject-related and regional breakdown on the population structure, the economic and social situation of the population, families, consensual unions and households, on employment, job search, education/training and continuing education/training, the housing situation and health. The Labour Force Survey of the European Union (EU Labour Force Survey) forms an integral part of the Microcensus. The Microcensus is the base for adjustment for many official and non-official household and individual surveys, such as the Income and Consumption Survey (EVS) and the Continuous Household Budget Surveys. Items on housing and health are integrated every four years. The Microcensus also has close relations to other official statistics, in particular to other official labour statistics. The Microcensus contains a very large sample (one per cent of the population), so data make highly differentiated analyses possible. The design of the Microcensus as a multi-topic survey enables various combinations of its specific survey parts and the fulfilment of complex information requirements. Comparative analyses over long historic periods are possible, thus the Microcensus is particularly suitable to analyse social change. Respondents in the sample are legally obliged to take part in the survey, so the bias by non-response is much smaller than in other surveys. Data quality is ensured by a team of well trained and experienced interviewers and by automatic checks of data plausibility. Changing the survey mode from a “reporting week mode” to a continuous survey in 2005 has increased the representativeness of the data by taking into account seasonal fluctuations. (Source: Statistisches Bundesamt, Qualitätsbericht Mikrozensus) The Microcensus is a multi-topic survey, so not all topics can be analysed in great detail and with the whole variety of instruments. For some topics, important items are missing (e. g. health – items on subjective health). There are no items on subjective aspects (opinions, attitudes etc.). Longitudinal data are available, but only for the years 1996 to 1999 and 2001 to 2004.

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