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Adult Education Survey (Eurostat)


Data description

EurostatThe European Adult Education Survey (AES), coordinated by Eurostat, provides data on formal, non-formal and informal education and training for a sample of persons from 25 to 64 years of age.

The Adult Education Survey uses a common EU questionnaire, tools and a reporting framework. Education, occupation and economic activity data are harmonised using standard international classifications:

  • Education is classified by ISCED (UNESCO; International Standard Classification of Education)
  • Occupation is classified by ISCO (ILO; International Standard Classification of Occupations)
  • Economic activitiy is classified by NACE (Eurostat; Nomenclature statistique des activités économiques dans la Communauté européenne).


Time period

2022 AES survey data is scheduled for release in 2023.

2016 AES was carried out in 2016-17, surveying subjects in 33 countries: BE, BG, CZ, DK, DE, EE, IE, EL, ES, FR, HR, IT, CY, LV, LT, LU, HU, MT, NL, AT, PL, PT, RO, SI, SK, FI, SE, UK, NO, CH, MK, BA and RS. The total net sample size for the 33 countries was approx. 240,000 individuals.

2011 AES
was carried out in 2011-12, surveying subjects in 31 countries: BE, BG, CZ, DK, DE, EE, IE, EL, ES, FR, IT, CY, LV, LT, LU, HU, MT, NL, AT, PL, PT, RO, SI, SK, FI, SE, UK, NO, CH and RS. The total net sample size for the 30 countries was approx. 225,000 individuals.

2007 AES (pilot) was carried out between 2005 and 2008, surveying subjects in 29 countries: BE, BG, CZ, DK, DE, EE, EL, ES, FR, HR, IT, CY, LV, LT, HU, NL, AT, PL, PT, RO, SI, SK, FI, SE, UK and NO. The total net sample size for the 26 countries was approx. 183,000 individuals.


Support links


How to access data

EUI members can apply for access to EU-AES micro data by following the instructions below. The Eurostat application process can take up to two months, due to clearing procedures with EU member state statistical agencies. The EUI is a Eurostat-recognised research entity.

  • Complete the Library's Micro Data Registration Form (selecting 'EU-AES' from the dropdown menu)
  • EUI scholars must create an EU Login to apply for Eurostat micro data access
  • Special note: Eurostat informs that for EUI members - it is necessary to use a non-institutional (non-EUI) personal email account for the creation of the EU Login and the RPP (Research Project Proposal)
  • The EU Logins based on personal email addresses are normally blocked by the Microdata Access Portal. To have these EU Logins validated, write to [email protected] indicating the email account which will be used for the submission of RPP
  • (It is not necessary for all members of a research team to create an EU login - only the person submitting the application)
  • Before completing the application, consult the Eurostat EU Adult Education Survey resource page for details of EU-AES variables, reference years and population
  • Applications for data access are processed via the online Microdata Access Workflow Tool
  • When completing the application, EUI researchers should enter the name of their thesis supervisor as Principal Investigator
  • For institutional Contact Person indicate 'Dr. Thomas Bourke'
  • Write to [email protected] for (i) the Research Entity ID and (ii) the description of the EUI's secure data infrastructure and protocols
  • The names and email contact details of all scholars on the project must be included in the form (researchers, fellows, professors)
  • The applicant uses the Microdata Access Workflow Tool to initiate the application procedure. Full instructions are at this link
  • Users should read the guidelines on how to ensure anonymity of results in Chapter 6 of the Self-study material for users of microdata
  • When calculating tables, users must respect the appropriate thresholds and dominance rules as explained in the Guidelines for publication
  • [After receipt of the application, the Eurostat Technical Unit may provide feedback and/or requests for further information about the project]
  • The submitter should monitor their EU Login account for updates regarding the application. (Library staff do not have access to individual EU Login accounts)
  • If the application is approved by Eurostat, the applicant should print all documents (application form (RPP) and confidentiality declaration(s))
  • The Principal Investigator initials all pages of the application form, and signs and dates the final page
  • The institutional Contact Person signs the application ([email protected])
  • Separate confidentiality declarations must be signed by (i) the Principal Investigator (ii) the Applicant(s) and (iii) the Contact Person
  • The applicant scans the signed documents and uploads to the EU Login account
  • Click 'Send' to submit the documents
  • When Eurostat approves access to the data, send this to [email protected]
  • The Library provides access to the data via restricted server.

Eurostat informs that no person(s) other than those named in the contract can access the data. Breach of contract conditions may lead to the withdrawal of the EUI's research entity recognition, and the potential loss of access to Eurostat micro data by other EUI scholars.

There is no off-campus access to Eurostat micro data.

Short-term visitors to the EUI Library do not have access to Eurostat micro data.

Member State statistical agencies and/or Eurostat reserve the right to decline access to Eurostat micro data.

At the end of the project contract period, Eurostat will contact the P.I. requesting a signed confirmation of destruction of local copies/sub-sets of the data.

Publications based on the data should be reported via this online form.


Metadata and software routines

The GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences maintains the Metadata for Official Statistics Support Portal for European micro data. Detailed metadata and documentation for EU-AES and other micro datasets are available.

The 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.”


Data Citation and disclaimer

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

"This study / report / paper is based on data from Eurostat, EU Adult Education Survey [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): Cross-sectional and longitudinal household sample survey collated by Eurostat from data provided by the EU member states, three EFTA countries and three EU-candidate countries. The database provides observations on labour market participation and persons outside the labour force.

EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC): Cross-sectional and longitudinal sample survey, coordinated by Eurostat, based on data from the European Union member states. EU-SILC provides data on income, poverty, social exclusion and living conditions in the European Union.

EUROMOD: Tax-benefit microsimulation model for the European Union developed by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, enabling researchers to calculate and compare the effects of tax and benefit policies on household incomes for EU member states and the UK.

Public use files for EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) and EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) are made available by Eurostat and CROS (Collaboration in Research and Methodology for Official Statistics).

Aggregate data can be downloaded directly from the Eurostat data portal under Population and Social Conditions.

See also the EUI Library Directory of European Statistical Data Resources.


Data homepage

Contact: Thomas Bourke at [email protected]   


Page last updated on 24 October 2023

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