Health data belong to special (sensitive) categories of data. Access to microdata on health requires a justification of substantial public interest.

Information on data details relevant for research project proposals

  • Age: by 5-year bands, but starting with 15-17, 18-19 years
  • Region: NUTS2 – only available in wave 3 (2019) for Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, and Serbia. 
  • Country of birth / citizenship: coded into 3 categories – natives, EU citizens and others
  • NACE: grouped into 9 sectors
  • ISCED: 1-digit level only

Description of the data collection

Scope of the survey

The European health interview survey (EHIS) consists of 4 modules on health status, health care use, health determinants, and socio-economic background variables. EHIS targets the population who are at least 15 years old and and live in private households. The 4 modules cover the following topics:

  • background variables on demography and socio-economic status such as sex, age, education, labour status, etc.
  • health status such as self-perceived health, chronic conditions, limitation in usual 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, fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.

Available countries and time series

Until 2019, the survey was conducted every 5 years. As of 2019 onwards, the survey has a 6-year periodicity.

The first wave of the survey (EHIS 1) took place between 2006 and 2009 without any binding legal basis. The 17 participating EU countries conducted the survey in different years:

  • 2006: Austria and Estonia
  • 2007: Slovenia
  • 2008: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Cyprus, France, Latvia, Malta, and Romania 
  • 2009: Greece, Spain, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.

Germany also conducted the survey in 2009 but did not grant access to its microdata.

The 17 EU countries aimed at comparability by using a standard questionnaire, guidelines, and translation recommendations. They implemented the EHIS modules at the national level, either as a specific survey or embedded the EHIS modules in an existing national survey, For example, a national health interview survey, labour force survey or other household surveys.

EHIS 1 contained around 130 questions and around 340 variables.

The second wave (EHIS 2) took place between 2013 and 2015 in all EU countries, Iceland, and Norway. The survey year for EHIS 2 was as follows:

  • 2013: Belgium and the United Kingdom
  • 2014: Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, and Sweden
  • 2015: Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Iceland, and Norway.

The third wave of EHIS (EHIS 3) was conducted in 2019 in all EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Albania, and Türkiye in accordance with the EU regulation 2018/255 on the European Health Interview Survey.

A derogation regarding the data collection period was granted for some countries. The data collection period was 2018 for Belgium, 2020 for Germany and Malta. Albania conducted the survey in 2020.

Available microdata

Anonymised microdata are available for all participating countries, except for France, Albania, and Türkiye.

Background information and documents