Adult Education Survey (AES)

Information on data details relevant for research project proposals

REGION – removed
REFMONTH – recoded into quarters
CITIZEN, BIRTHPLACE – aggregated into 3 groups (national, another EU country, non-EU country)
HATLEVEL, DROPLEVEL, FEDLEVEL – ISCED 1997 level 5 and 6 conflated
LOCNACE – aggregated to 1-digit level of NACE

Description of dataset

The Adult Education Survey (AES) covers adults’ participation in education and training (formal, non-formal and informal learning) and is one of the main data sources for EU lifelong learning statistics. The AES covers the resident population aged 25-64. The reference period for the participation in education and training is the twelve months prior to the interview.

The following information is available from the AES:

  • Participation in formal education, non-formal education and training and informal learning
  • Characteristics of the learning activities
  • Volume of instruction hours
  • Reasons for and obstacles to participating
  • Access to information on learning possibilities
  • Employer financing and costs of learning
  • Self-reported language skills

Adult Education Surveys were carried out in 2007, 2011 and 2016 and results are published in Eurostat's online database. The next AES is planned for 2022.

What is available?

A) 2007 AES (pilot survey)

The first wave of the survey is referred to as 2007 AES and was carried out between 2005 and 2008 in 29 countries, either Member States of the European Union, candidate countries or countries of the European Free Trade Area. It was a pilot exercise set up within a common EU framework which provided a methodological manual including a standard questionnaire and quality reporting.

Further information on 2007 AES is available here.

The 2007 AES scientific use files can be accessed via CD-ROM including the following 26 national datasets out of the 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 is about 183 000 individuals.

Ireland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Iceland did not take part in the 2007 AES. Malta, Switzerland and Turkey implemented the survey but the data from these three countries are not available in the scientific use files because the national authorities did not allow for this dissemination.

B) 2011 AES

The second AES data collection, referred to as 2011 AES, took place in 2011 and 2012. It was the first to be run under European legislation. 31 countries participated in the 2011 AES.

Further information on 2011 AES is available here.

The 2011 AES scientific use files are available on CD-ROM including the datasets of  30 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 is about 225 000 individuals. Some national samples include individuals aged less than 25 or more than 64 and these are included in the anonymised microdata.

Croatia, Iceland and Liechtenstein did not take part in the 2011 AES. Turkey implemented an AES in 2012 but data are not available in the scientific use files because the national authorities did not allow for this dissemination.

C) 2016 AES

The third AES, referred to as 2016 AES, was implemented in 2016 and 2017. Data are available in the online database. Anonymised datasets are estimated to become available in Q3 2018.