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EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions


Data description

EU-SILC is a cross-sectional and longitudinal sample survey, coordinated by Eurostat, based on data from the EU member states. EU-SILC provides data on income, poverty, social exclusion and living conditions in the European Union. EU-SILC stands for 'European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions.' There are two data scopes:

  • Cross-sectional data pertaining to fixed time periods, with variables on income, poverty, social exclusion and living conditions, and
  • Longitudinal data pertaining to individual-level changes over time, usually observed over four years.

Social exclusion and housing-condition information is collected at household level. Income at a detailed component level is collected at personal level, with some components included in the 'Household' section. Labour, education and health observations only apply to persons aged 16 and over.

EU-SILC was established to provide data on structural indicators of social cohesion (at-risk-of-poverty rate, S80/S20 and gender pay gap) and to provide relevant data for the two 'open methods of coordination' in the field of social inclusion and pensions in Europe.

See related Library resource pages for the EU-LFS database and the EUROMOD tax and benefits' microsimulation model, developed by the University of Essex Institute for Social & Economic Research, using underlying EU-SILC data.


Time period

The following EU-SILC waves are available. Eurostat periodically issues revisions of earlier waves, requiring hosting institutions to replace previous versions. Dates of data revisions are indicated below.

  • EU-SILC 2013 cross-sectional (rev.1 / June 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2013 longitudinal (September 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2012 cross-sectional (rev.2 / June 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2012 longitudinal (rev.2 / June 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2011 cross-sectional (rev.4 / June 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2011 longitudinal (rev.3 / June 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2010 cross-sectional (rev.5 / June 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2010 longitudinal (rev.4 / August 2014)
  • EU-SILC 2009 cross-sectional (rev.6 / June 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2009 longitudinal (rev.3 / April 2013)
  • EU-SILC 2008 cross-sectional (rev.6 / June 2015)
  • EU-SILC 2008 longitudinal (rev.3 / June 2012)
  • EU-SILC 2007 cross-sectional (rev.4 / March 2011)
  • EU-SILC 2007 longitudinal (rev.3 / March 2011)
  • EU-SILC 2006 cross-sectional (rev.1 / March 2010)
  • EU-SILC 2006 longitudinal (February 2008)
  • EU-SILC 2005 cross-sectional (rev.1 / September 2009)
  • EU-SILC 2005 longitudinal (February 2008)
  • EU-SILC 2004 cross-sectional (rev.3 / June 2015)


Support links

An overview of the database is given on the Eurostat EU-SILC page.

Documentation on known data issues, data modifications and collation methodology are on the EU-SILC support platform.

GESIS (Leibnitz/Mannheim) provides a list of tools for EU-SILC including transfer routines from .csv to Stata and SPSS.

EUROMOD, the EU tax and benefits simulator, uses underlying EU-SILC data. EUROMOD is available to current EUI members via an institutional agreement with ISER. Details of access are on this Library page.

Aggregate Eurostat data is available on the Eurostat platform.


How to access data

Current EUI members can apply to access EU-SILC micro data as follows. Please note that the Eurostat application process can take up to two months, due to clearing procedures with EU member state statistical agencies.

  • Write to econlibrary@eui.eu requesting the Eurostat Research Application Form (Word format).
  • Before completing the form, consult the Eurostat EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions description page for details of EU-SILC variables, reference years and population.
  • The Principal Researcher (Section 1.1) is normally the Project Supervisor / Professor
  • The names and contact details of all individual researchers must be included in Section 1.3
  • The form (Word version) is sent to Eurostat by the EUI Library Information Specialist
  • Eurostat returns a PDF version of the Research Application Form to the EUI
  • The Principal Researcher initials all pages of the Research Project Proposal Application, and signs the last page
  • All project participants complete a Confidentialy Declaration
  • The EUI contact person (Information Specialist) signs the Application
  • Eurostat informs that no other person is eligible to be part of the research project proposal. No other person can access the data. Breach of these conditions may lead to the withdrawal of research entity recognition, and the potential loss of access to Eurostat micro data by other scholars.
  • The Application and Confidentiality Declarations are returned to Eurostat by sending a scanned version of the signed documents, separated into two PDF files: 1. research project application form, and 2. individual confidentiality declarations, to ESTAT-Microdata-access@ec.europa.eu
  • Eurostat sends the application to the EU Member States statistical agencies
  • If the application is approved, the applicants must also complete the online EUI Data Registration Form (selecting 'EU-SILC' from the dropdown menu) and sign the EUI Conditions of Use agreement
  • The Library then provides access to the data.

The EUI is a Eurostat-recognised research entity.

EU-SILC is not available to short-term EUI visitors.

Due to the large size of EU-LFS files, data is in compressed (ZIP) format. It is necessary to use 7-Zip - available on EUI desktops - to extract the data.

Member State statistical agencies and Eurostat reserve the right to decline access to EU-SILC data.

Please read, and abide by, the terms and conditions of use for licensed data resources.


Metadata support

The GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences launched a new Metadata for Official Statistics support portal for European micro data in 2015. Detailed metadata and documentation for EU-SILC is available.

The new service is part of MISSY- the GESIS Microdata Information System - providing support for users of European micro data.

“MISSY pools a broad spectrum of metadata in one centralised resource. This includes information on series, such as access conditions or details on data collection in participating countries, as well as detailed information on variables such as frequencies, filter information or question wordings... Users can choose between systematic accesses via a series, the variable-over-time matrix which lists the availability of variables in table form or a thematically sorted access to all studies. Additionally selected variables can be visualised in a comparison table.”

Metadata for Official Statistics covers EU-LFS and EU-SILC micro data sets from January 2015. Metadata on other data sets - including the Adult Education Survey, Community Innovation Survey and Structure of Earnings Survey - are due to be added later in 2015.


Data Citation and disclaimer

Researchers must cite the source of EU-SILC data as follows:

"This study/report/paper is based on data from Eurostat, EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions [reference year(s)]."

The following disclaimer must be added: "The responsibility for all conclusions drawn from the data lies entirely with the author(s)."


Related resources

EU-Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) micro data from Eurostat are subject to the same data access application procedures as EU-SILC.

EUROMOD, a micro-simulation model for EU tax and benefits' research, is available via the EUI's institutional contract with the University of Essex Institute for Social & Economic Research.

European statistical data resources (EUI Library directory).


Data homepage

Contact: Thomas Bourke at econlibrary@eui.eu

Page last updated on 01 September 2015