European Data Sources

European Social Survey (ESS)

The European Social Survey (ESS) is a biannual survey which, since 2002, allows the comparative and longitudinal study of attitudes, attributes and behaviors of European citizens in the economic, social and political spheres. It also aims to facilitate the analysis of the interaction between the context and social institutions of each country with the behavior patterns, attitudes and beliefs of its citizens. The ESS has a clear academic orientation and aims to be a reference instrument in European research in social sciences.

In its web you can consult its characteristics and obtain the data matrix of the survey of all the countries for SPSS, SAS and STATA.

Data of: 2014 | 2012 | 20102008 | 2006 | 2004 | 2002

It is necessary to know the methodological characteristics of the survey, the conditions of use and, in particular, the weighting procedure of the data.

World Values Survey (WVS)

The World Values Survey (WVS) is a global research project that explores people's values and beliefs, their stability or change over time, and their impact on the social and political development of societies in different countries around the world. The WVS began in 1981 and six waves of surveys have been carried out until 2014, covering almost 90% of the world population.

In its web you can consult its characteristics and obtain the data matrices in various formats (SPSS, Stata, R).

European Union Statistics

Its main function is to process and publish comparable statistical information at European level. Eurostat does not collect data, since it is the member states of its statistical authorities, which verify and analyze the national data and send it to Eurostat. Eurostat consolidates data and ensures comparability, using harmonized methodologies.

Its main variables of analysis are: agriculture, forestry and fisheries, foreign trade, science and technology, economy and finance, statistics in general, industry, trade and services, environment and energy, population, social conditions and transportation.

Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS)

Panel survey consisting of 4,500 households, comprising 7,000 individuals in the Netherlands. The panel is based on a true probabilistic sample of households drawn from the population registry by Statistics Netherlands.

Its main variables of analysis are: education, communication, customer behavior, employment and labor, housing and income, law and judicial system, leisure, recreation and culture, social attitudes and values, religion, and politics.

Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS)

Merger between three independent institutes: the Social Sciences Information Center (IZ) in Bonn, the Central Archive for empirical social research in Cologne (ZA), and the Center for Research and Methodology Research (ZUMA) in Mannheim. It has a service of access to data files of surveys, official statistics, and investigations.

ZACAT - GESIS Online Study Catalogue
ISSP - The International Social Survey Programme 
EVS - European Values Study

EUROSTAT: The Statistical Office of the European Communities

Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg. Its mission is to provide high quality statistics for Europe. While fulfilling its mission, Eurostat promotes the following values: respect and trust, fostering excellence, promoting innovation, service orientation, professional independence.

Providing the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions is a key task. Democratic societies do not function properly without a solid basis of reliable and objective statistics. On one hand, decision-makers at EU level, in Member States, in local government and in business need statistics to make those decisions. On the other hand, the public and media need statistics for an accurate picture of contemporary society and to evaluate the performance of politicians and others. Of course, national statistics are still important for national purposes in Member States whereas EU statistics are essential for decisions and evaluation at European level.

European Statistical System (ESS)

Eurostat does not work alone. Since the early days of the Community it was realised that decisions on and planning and implementation of Community policies must be based on reliable and comparable statistics. So the European Statistical System (ESS) was built up gradually with the objective of providing comparable statistics at EU level.

The ESS is the partnership between the Statistical authority of the Union, which is the Commission (Eurostat), and the national statistical institutes (NSIs) and other national authorities responsible in each Member State for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics. This Partnership also includes the EEA and EFTA countries.

Member States collect data and compile statistics for national and EU purposes. The ESS functions as a network in which Eurostat's role is to lead the way in the harmonization of statistics in close cooperation with the national statistical authorities. ESS work concentrates mainly on EU policy areas - but, with the extension of EU policies, harmonization has been extended to nearly all statistical fields.

The ESS also coordinates its work with candidate countries, and at European level with other Commission services, agencies and the ECB and international organisations such as OECD, the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

CESSDA: Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives

CESSDA provides large scale, integrated and sustainable data services to the social sciences, having evolved from a network of European data service providers into a legal entity and large-scale infrastructure under the auspices of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap in June 2013.

European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS)

The European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS) is conducted in the 28 Member States of the European Union, 2 candidate countries and 3 countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No. 577/98 of 9 March 1998. At the moment, the LFS microdata for scientific purposes contain data for all Member States plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

The EU LFS is a large household sample survey providing quarterly results on labour participation of people aged 15 and over as well as on persons outside the labour force. All definitions apply to persons aged 15 years and over living in private households. Persons carrying out obligatory military or community service are not included in the target group of the survey, as is also the case for persons in institutions/collective households.

The data collection covers the years from 1983 onwards. In general, data for individual countries are available depending on their accession date. The Labour Force Surveys are conducted by the national statistical institutes across Europe and are centrally processed by Eurostat. The national statistical institutes are responsible for selecting the sample, preparing the questionnaires, conducting the direct interviews among households, and forwarding the results to Eurostat in accordance with the requirements of the regulation. Thus, it is possible to make available harmonised data at European level.

European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)

Statistics on income, social inclusion and living conditions cover objective and subjective aspects of these themes in both monetary and non-monetary terms for both households and individuals. They are used to monitor the Europe 2020 strategy in particular through its poverty reduction headline target.

The main source for the compilation of statistics on income, social inclusion and living conditions is the EU-Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) instrument. It collects comparable multidimensional micro-data on:

European Community Household Panel (ECHP)

The European Community Household Panel (ECHP) is a panel survey in which a sample of households and persons has been interviewed year after year.
These interviews cover a wide range of topics concerning living conditions. They include detailed income information, financial situation in a wider sense, working life, housing situation, social relations, health and biographical information of the interviewed.
The total duration of the ECHP was 8 years, running from 1994 to 2001 (8 waves). As from 2003/2004, the EU-SILC survey covers most of the above-mentioned topics. The Member States involved were Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Household Budget Surveys (HBS)

Household Budget Surveys (HBSs) are national surveys mainly focusing on consumption expenditure. They are conducted in all EU Member States and their primary aim (especially at national level) is to calculate weights for the Consumer Price Index. They were launched in most EU Member States at the beginning of the 1960's and Eurostat has been collating and publishing these survey data every five years since 1988. The two last collection rounds were 2005 and 2010. Although there have been continuous efforts towards harmonisation, differences remain. The surveys vary between countries in terms of frequency, timing, content or structure. Currently data are collected for all 28 EU Member States as for Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav of Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Norway.

The household final consumption expenditure of the Countries are not comparable because the methodologies used by the Countries for data collection are not totally harmonised. The most important methodological difference in quantitative terms, but not the only one, is the owner-occupier imputed rent. The following countries have not imputed any rent for the use of owner-occupied dwellings as household main residence: United Kingdom, Czech Republic and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Harmonised European Time Use Surveys (HETUS)

This publication presents an updated version of the guidelines on the Harmonised European Time Use Surveys (HETUS). The first version, finished in 2000, was based on the recommendations of the final report on Time Use pilot surveys and on the discussions carried out with experts of the National Statistical Institutes. The project was also actively supported by the Economic Commission for Europe. The 2000 HETUS guidelines have been the cornerstone of the European Time Use harmonisation process. As a major example stands the web-tool making for flexible and easy database tabulation for fifteen European countries. It was developed by Statistics Finland and Statistics Sweden with financial support of the European Commission. Based on experience gained, countries requested an update subject to two principles: comparability with previous guidelines and simplification. A task force was established by the Time Use Survey working group in June 2005, and a consultation process with national statistical bodies on the scope of revision and on the national practices was launched. The proposals of the Task Force were discussed by the Time Use Survey working group at its meeting of April 2008 and, later, by written procedure. The current document is the result of those discussions.

Adult Education Survey (AES)

The Adult Education Survey (AES) is a household survey which is part of the EU Statistics on lifelong learning. People living in private households are interviewed about their participation in education and training activities (formal, non-formal and informal learning). The target population of the survey is composed of people aged 25 to 64.

The survey takes place every five years and its results are published on Eurostat website. Furthermore, the microdata that are collected can be used in research projects to study participation in lifelong learning (analyses using sociodemographic characteristics such as country of residence, individual and household characteristics, work context, etc...).

European Health Interview Survey (EHIS)

The European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) consists of four modules on health status, health care use, health determinants and socio-economic background variables. EHIS targets the population aged at least 15 and living in private households.  The four modules cover the following topics:

  • Background variables on demography and socio economic status such as sex, age, household type, etc.
  • Health status such as self-perceived health, chronic conditions, limitation in daily activities, disease specific morbidity, physical and sensory functional limitations, etc.
  • Health care use such as hospitalisation, consultations, unmet needs, use of medicines, preventive actions, etc.
  • Health determinants such as height and weight, consumption of fruits, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.

The first wave of The European Health Interview Survey (EHIS 1) was conducted between years 2006 and 2009 without any binding Commission regulation. The participating Member States had conducted the survey in different years: 2006: Austria and Estonia; 2007: Slovenia; 2008: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Latvia, Malta and Romania and 2009: Greece, Spain, Hungary, Poland and Slovak Republic. Germany also conducted the survey in 2009 but did not grant access to their micro data. The 17 participating EU Member States strived towards comparability via a standard questionnaire, guidelines and translation recommendations. Member States had implemented the EHIS modules at the national level either as a specific survey or had embedded the EHIS modules in an existing national survey i.e. national health interview survey, labour force survey or other household surveys. The EHIS 1 contained around 130 questions and around 340 variables.

The European Health Interview Surveys are foreseen to be run every 5 years. The next wave (EHIS 2) will be held in 2014. Following EHIS waves after EHIS 1 are regulated by Commission legislation.

Survey on Information and Communication Technologies usage in Households (ICT-HH)

Rapid technological change in areas related to the internet and other new applications of ICTs pose challenges for statistics. As such, there has been a considerable degree of development in this area, with statistical tools being adapted to satisfy new demands for data. Indeed, statistics within this domain are reassessed on an annual basis in order to meet user needs and reflect the rapid pace of technological change.

This approach is replicated in Eurostat’s survey on ICT usage in households and by individuals. This annual survey is used to benchmark ICT-driven developments, both by following developments for core variables over time and by looking in greater depth at other aspects at a specific point in time. While the survey initially concentrated on access and connectivity issues, its scope has subsequently been extended to cover a variety of subjects (for example, e-government and e-commerce) and socioeconomic analysis (such as regional diversity, gender specificity, differences in age, education and employment situation). The scope of the survey with respect to different technologies is also adapted so as to cover new product groups and means of delivering communication technologies to end-users.

The reference period for the survey on ICT usage in households and by individuals is the first quarter of each year; in most countries the survey is conducted in the second quarter of each year. A module on internet security formed part of the 2015 survey.

Community Statistics on Information Society (CSIS)

The Community survey concerning statistics on the Information Society survey is conducted annually in all Member States, two countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), candidate and accession countries to the EU.  The data collection is based on Regulation (EC) 808/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council. The transmission of microdata to Eurostat was voluntary until the reference year 2010 while it has been mandatory from 2011 onwards.

The survey gathers information on access and use of information and communication technologies (ICT) from households and individuals. The survey covers households with at least one member in the age between 16 and 74 and individuals with an age between 16 and 74. Information on access to ICT, e.g. connection to the internet, is collected at household level while statistics on the use of ICT, mainly on the use of the internet is gathered for persons. The survey distinguishes between annual core subjects, which are included in the survey every year, and episodic topics on various ICT phenomena, which change in different survey years.

Eurofound Surveys

Eurofound has developed three periodic surveys in order to contribute to the planning and the establishment of better living and working conditions. The data and accompanying materials are in the UK Data Archive (UKDA) in Essex. Access to the data is free of charge through the international section of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS).

European Working Conditions Surveys (EWCS)

The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) is the longest running survey, and has become an established source of information about working conditions and the quality of work and employment. With five waves having been implemented since 1990, it enables monitoring of long-term trends in working conditions in Europe. Themes covered include employment status, working time arrangements, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, worker participation, work-life balance, earnings and financial security, as well as work and health.

European Quality of Life Surveys (EQLS)

The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS), implemented in 2003, 2007 and 2011-12, provides a comprehensive portrait of living conditions in European countries. It contains a broad range of indicators on different dimensions of quality of life, both objective and subjective. In addition, some EQLS questions were used in a Special Eurobarometer on Poverty and Social Exclusion in autumn 2009 and 2010. Given the recent high level of interest in the quality of life of European citizens, the EQLS is increasingly important for Eurofound’s contribution to the political and academic debate.

European Company Surveys (ECS)

The European Company Survey (ECS), implemented in 2004, 2009 and 2013, gives an overview of workplace practices and how they are negotiated in European establishments. It is based on the views of both managers and employee representatives. The survey was first launched in 2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance. It was repeated in 2009 as the European Company Survey, focussing on flexibility practices and the quality of social dialogue. The first findings from the 2013 survey are now online.

Structure of Earnings Survey (SES)

The European Union Structure of Earnings Survey (SES) in accordance with Council Regulation n° 530/1999 is conducted in the 28 Member States of the European Union as well as candidate countries and countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

The objective of the Structure of Earnings Survey is to provide accurate and harmonised data on earnings in EU Member States, Candidate Countries and EFTA countries for policy-making and research purposes. The SES is a large enterprise sample survey providing detailed and comparable information on the relationships between the level of remuneration and individual characteristics of employees (sex, age, occupation, length of service, highest educational level attained, etc.) and those of their employer (economic activity, size and location of the enterprise).

The statistics of the SES refer to enterprises with at least 10 employees operating in all areas of the economy except public administration defined in Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE).  Business activities, which are included in SES microdata are mentioned in NACE Rev. 2 sections B to S excluding O (NACE Rev. 1.1 sections C to O excluding L until reference year 2006). Information on public administration (NACE Rev. 1.1 Section L until 2006 and NACE Rev. 2 Section O from 2010) as well as enterprises with less than 10 employees is also available from some countries on a voluntary basis.

The national statistical institutes are responsible for selecting the sample, preparing the questionnaires, conducting the survey and forwarding the results to Eurostat in accordance with the common coding scheme as stipulated by the implementing arrangements prepared by Eurostat. The data are centrally processed by Eurostat.

Community Innovation Survey (CIS)

The Community Innovation Survey (CIS) based innovation statistics are part of the EU science and technology statistics. Surveys are carried out with two years' frequency by EU member states and number of ESS member countries.  Compiling CIS data is voluntary to the countries, which means that in different surveys years different countries are involved.

The CIS is a survey of innovation activity in enterprises. The harmonised survey is designed to provide information on the innovativeness of sectors by type of enterprises, on the different types of innovation and on various aspects of the development of an innovation, such as the objectives, the sources of information, the public funding, the innovation expenditures etc. The CIS provides statistics broken down by countries, type of innovators, economic activities and size classes.

New microdata release normally takes place two and half years after the end of the survey reference period. CIS microdata can be accessed via CD-ROMs (scientific-use files) and in the Safe Centre (SC) at Eurostat's premises in Luxembourg.

Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS)

The Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS) is an enterprise survey which is part of the EU statistics on lifelong learning. The survey aims at comparable statistical information on continuing vocational training in enterprises and covers the following topics:

  • Continuing vocational training, skills supply and demand, training needs
  • Measurement of the forms, contents and volume of continuing training
  • The enterprises own training resources and the use of external training providers
  • The costs of continuing training
  • Initial vocational training

CVT surveys were carried out for the reference years 1993, 1999, 2005 and 2010. The next wave is planned for the reference year 2015.

UK Data Service

Their primary aim is to provide users with seamless and flexible access to a wide range of data resources to facilitate high quality social and economic research and education about the UK.

Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland

Their mission is to provide and disseminate statistical information, which is objective, independent and of high quality. This information is made available to everybody: politicians, government, administration, businessmen and citizens. The federal law on statistics specifies the duties and responsibilities of the federal statistical office.

In line with the federal structure of the state and the administration in the Federal Republic of Germany federation-wide surveys of official statistics ("federal statistical surveys") are implemented in cooperation between the Federal Statistical Office and the statistical offices of the 16 federal states. That means that in most cases federal statistical surveys are organised in a decentralised manner. This implies a division of labour in which the main function of the Federal Statistical Office is coordination. Its principal responsibility is to see to it that federal statistical surveys are without overlaps, comply with standard methods and observe the time schedule. The Federal Statistical Office's catalogue of obligations includes activities such as:

  • methodological and technical preparations for the various statistical surveys,
  • further development of the federal statistics programme,
  • mutual coordination of statistical surveys,
  • compilation and publication of federal results.

Data collection and data processing up to federal state level is predominantly carried out by the statistical offices of the federal states.

Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSÉÉ)

INSEE was created by the Budget Law of 27 April 1946. It is a Directorate-General of the Ministries for the Economy and for Finances and is located in offices throughout the French territory.

INSEE’s professional independence is enshrined in law: the Economic Modernisation Law of 4 August 2008 established the Official Statistics Authority, which has a responsibility to ensure that the principle of professional independence is maintained in the design, production and dissemination of official statistics.

Swedish Social Science Data Service

The Swedish Research Council has appointed SND as a national resource for the coordination of existing and newly established databases within the social sciences, humanities and health sciences. SND offers support to Swedish research by facilitating researchers access to data within and outside of Sweden as well as offer support for research during the whole research process. SND presents Swedish research outside of Sweden.

European Central Bank (ECB)

The purpose of ECB statistics is to provide all the data necessary in order to undertake the tasks of the European System of Central Banks. Although the main task is the conduct of monetary policy for the euro area, ECB statistics are also provided to the European Systemic Risk Board for the macro-prudential oversight of the financial system. In addition, the ECB makes these statistics and supporting information available to both the general public and market participants.

Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of approximately 123,000 individuals aged 50 or older (more than 293,000 interviews). SHARE covers 27 European countries and Israel.

The data are available to the entire research community free of charge. For a summary overview and research results of SHARE, you can download the SHARE brochure or our latest First Results Book: Ageing in Europe - Supporting Policies for an Inclusive Society.

Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD)

The Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) provides a single point of access to a wide range of digital research data for learning, teaching and research purposes. The archive is a national resource centre funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In addition to archiving and dissemination of data, key services include data-related information services and support for research data management. The archive operates as a separate unit of the University of Tampere.

The FSD promotes open access to research data as well as transparency, accumulation and efficient reuse of scientific research. The FSD has been awarded the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) which is granted to an organisation that preserves digital research data in a reliable manner and enables the reuse of the data.

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