European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)

Information on data details relevant for research project proposals

  • Age: top coded 80y and above
  • Year of birth: recoded: year of survey minus 81 and below
  • Region: NUTS 1 level
  • Year of immigration: grouped into 5-year classes
  • Country of birth: recoded 'LOC', 'EU', 'OTH'
  • Citizenship: recoded 'LOC', 'EU', 'OTH'
  • ISCED: highest level attained, top coded 500 and above
  • NACE: NACE Rev.2 at 2 digit-level recoded into sections

Household IDs are randomly assigned in cross-sectional datasets to prevent respondents from being tracked across time or linked with longitudinal data.

The anonymisation rules applied to scientific use files depend on the EU-SILC data type (cross-sectional or longitudinal), country, and wave. 

Description of the data collection

Scope of the survey

The EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) aim to collect timely and comparable cross-sectional and longitudinal data on income, poverty, social exclusion, and living conditions

Available countries and time series

The EU-SILC project was launched in 2003 based on a 'gentlemen's agreement' between 6 EU countries - Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Austria - and Norway. The legal basis entered into force in 2004 and covers all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. Some other countries participate on a voluntary basis. For details, please refer to the  EU-SILC implementation by country.

Data collection

EU-SILC provides two types of data:

  • cross-sectional data over a given time or a certain period with variables on income, poverty, social exclusion, and other living conditions
  • longitudinal data on individual-level changes over time, observed periodically over a 4-year period.

Information on social exclusion and housing conditions is collected mainly at the household level. Labour, education, and health information is obtained from individuals aged 16 and over. Income variables at the detailed component level are also mainly collected from individuals.

Available microdata

EU-SILC scientific use files (SUFs) contain partially anonymised microdata: cross-sectional and longitudinal. Methodological guidelines describe EU-SILC variables as being transmitted to Eurostat. The differences between the original database (as defined in the guidelines) and the scientific use files are described separately for cross-sectional and longitudinal SUFs. For information, please consult:

The complete set of guidelines and anonymisation rules are provided with the data.

The  data availability table shows the latest and planned releases of EU-SILC scientific use files.

Availability of data for the public

Data can be found in the online database under the folder ‘Living Conditions and welfare’.

EU-SILC data are used to monitor poverty and social inclusion as part of the European Semester, which is the framework for coordinating economic policies across the EU. A broader set of indicators, which also build on numerous EU-SILC data, make up the joint assessment framework.

EU-SILC data also provide quantitative evidence for monitoring the implementation of the social protection and inclusion dimension of the European pillar of social rights, provide data for the social protection performance monitor and are used in the context of the ppen method of coordination on social inclusion and social protection.

Microdata releases with digital object identifier (DOI) 

  • EU-SILC 2022 releases:
    • Release 2 in October 2022: cross-sectional data up to 2020 and longitudinal data up to 2020 (some countries which were not available in release 1 were added):  Description of the release, including DOI 10.2907/EUSILC2004-2020V.3
    • Release 1 in April 2022: cross-sectional data up to 2020 and longitudinal data up to 2020:   Description of the release, including DOI 10.2907/EUSILC2004-2020V.2
  • EU-SILC 2021 releases:
    • Release 2 in November 2021: cross-sectional data up to 2020 and longitudinal data up to 2019: :   Description of the release, including DOI 10.2907/EUSILC2004-2020V.1
    • Release 1 in April 2021: cross-sectional data up to 2019 and longitudinal data up to 2019:   Description of the release, including DOI 10.2907/EUSILC2004-2019V.2
  • EU-SILC 2020 releases: 
    • Release 2 in November 2020: cross-sectional data up to 2019 and longitudinal data up to 2018:   Description of the release, including DOI 10.2907/EUSILC2004-2019V.1
    • Release 1 in March 2020: cross-sectional data up to 2018 and longitudinal data up to 2018:   Description of the release, including DOI 10.2907/EUSILC2004-2018V.1
  • No DOI number for previous EU-SILC releases