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.

Important information

Access to the scientific use files is only allowed on the premises of research entities, according to the  terms of use of confidential data. In these special circumstances, remote access to the data may be granted if certain conditions are fulfilled. For details, please see section 8.2 of the  microdata access guidelines. To work with the data remotely, please complete the  request form.