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LIS cross-national data on income and inequality


Data Description

LIS The LIS Cross-National Data Center provides internationally comparative data on income, inequality, employment and expenditure at individual and household levels via the LIS Data Access Research Tool (DART). The LIS Centre is based in Luxembourg. There are two major series:

The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) provides comparative data on income, labour and demographic characteristics of 46 countries.

The Luxembourg Wealth Survey (LWS) provides household-level data on assets and debt, market and government income, household characteristics, labour market outcomes, expenditures and behavioural indicators for seven countries.

LIS provides (i) categorical variables in standardised formats and (ii) household disposable income disaggregated into comparable sub-components. 

LIS and LWS data are available via the remote access software LISSY, which supports Stata, R, Python, SAS and SPSS. Online registration details are below. Note that it is necessary to re-register on the Cross-National Data Center site each year.

The LIS working papers' database provides research findings based on LIS and LWS data.

See also the Standardized World Income Inequality database (v.9.1, 2021) provided by the University of Iowa "to meet the needs of those engaged in broadly cross-national research by maximizing comparability while maintaining the widest possible coverage across countries and over time.”  The database covers 173 countries from 1960 to present.


Time period
  • LIS data ranges from the 1970s to present, varying by country
  • A table of coverage by country is on this LIS page.


Support links

The LIS Research Institute provides an Introduction to LIS and LWS data.

For detailed information - including income definitions, labour market variables, the treatment of currency and data set revisions - consult these online guides:


How to access data

LIS and LWS are accessible via via the LIS Data Access Research Tool (DART). To register:

  • Complete the LIS Micro data User Registration Form (note that it is necessary to re-register each year)
  • Click on 'Register' to submit the form
  • Subject to approval by the Cross-National Data Centre, applicants receive a user ID and password (usually within three working  days).

Users of this resource may also be interested in the World Inequality Database providing access to data on “the historical evolution of the world distribution of income and wealth, both within countries and between countries."


Data homepage

Contact: [email protected]


Page last updated on 09 April 2024

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