Overview - Microdata
What are microdata?
Microdata are sets of records containing information on individuals, households or businesses. We use them in official statistics to produce aggregate information, usually in table format.
Can everyone access microdata?
Access to confidential microdata is restricted to protect the anonymity of individuals or businesses. We grant access to our microdata for scientific purposes only.
To apply for access, we first need to recognise your organisation as a research entity. Examples include universities, research institutes or research departments in a public administration, banks, statistical institutes, etc.
How do I apply for access?
Step 1: Have your research organisation recognised as a research entity. This just needs to be done once and the procedure takes around 4 weeks.
Step 2: Apply for access to microdata. You can apply for access by submitting a research proposal. The procedure takes around 8-10 weeks.
How are data provided?
Depending on your access type, we will:
- send your principal researcher files containing anonymised data (scientific use files)
- authorise your organisation to access non-anonymised data (secure use files) in Eurostat's 'Safe Centre' (dedicated room on Eurostat premises) or remotely via accredited access points.
How long do I have access to the data?
Access to microdata is only valid for the period specified in the research proposal. At the end of the period, you must:
- destroy any original scientific use files sent by Eurostat and any confidential data derived from the files
- send Eurostat your research results.
List of recognised research entities
Publications on the basis of microdata
How to use microdata properly - a user guide
Statistical confidentiality and personal data protection
Guidelines for the assessment of research entities and research proposals
EU regulation 557/2013 on access to confidential data for scientific purposes
EU regulation 2018/1725 on the protection of personal data by the EU institutions