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

Information on data details relevant for Research Project Proposals:

AGE: by 1-year range, up to 80; month of birth grouped into quarters.
REGION: NUTS 1 level (with some exception according to countries).
NATIONALITY/COUNTRY OF BIRTH: recoded into 3 categories (Natives, EU citizens and others).
YEAR OF IMMIGRATION: by 5-years range.
HOUSEHOLD ID: randomised.
INCOME: perturbation depending on countries' own rules.
NACE: recoded into broad activity sectors.
ISCED: up to 500

note: HOUSEHOLD ID are randomised for each cross-sectional dataset so as to prevent from either tracking respondents across time, or linking cross-sectional data with longitudinal data.


Description of dataset

The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) is an instrument aiming at collecting timely and comparable cross-sectional and longitudinal multidimensional microdata on income, poverty, social exclusion and living conditions. This instrument is anchored in the European Statistical System (ESS).
The EU-SILC project was launched in 2003 on the basis of a "gentlemen's agreement" in six Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Austria) and Norway. The start of the EU-SILC instrument was in 2004 for the EU-15 (except Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom) and Estonia, Norway and Iceland. For full description of the countries coverage in EU-SILC, please consult the implementation graph below.

The EU-SILC instrument provides two types of data:
  • Cross-sectional data pertaining to a given time or a certain time period with variables on income, poverty, social exclusion and other living conditions
  • Longitudinal data pertaining to individual-level changes over time, observed periodically over a four-year period.

Social exclusion and housing condition information is collected mainly at household level while labour, education and health information is obtained for persons aged 16 and over. The core of the instrument, income at very detailed component level, is mainly collected at personal level.

List of primary variables

List of secondary variables

EU-SILC based data

The EU-SILC has been used to provide data on the structural indicators of social cohesion (at-risk-of poverty rate, S80/S20) and in the context of the two Open Methods of Coordination in the field of social inclusion and pensions.

Since 2010, the outset of the Europe 2020 strategy, EU-SILC data is being used for monitoring the poverty and social inclusion in the EU. A headline poverty target on reducing by 20 million in 2020 the number of people under poverty and social exclusion has been defined based on the EU-SILC instrument. In the same political context a broader portfolio of indicators, including plenty of numerous EU-SILC based data, constitutes the Joint Assessment Framework (JAF) of the EU2020 strategy.

All datasets under the Income and Living conditions (ILC) domain contain EU-SILC data.

More information on Income and living conditions data

Database - Income and Living Conditions