Overview - Access to microdata


What are microdata?

Microdata consist of sets of records containing information on individual persons, households or business entities. Microdata are used in official statistics for the production of aggregate information (usually tables). Access to confidential microdata is restricted in order to protect the anonymity of individual persons or businesses.

Access to microdata

We grant access to our microdata for scientific purposes only.

To apply for access to Eurostat's microdata, your organisation must first be recognised by us as a research entity – a university, research institution or research department in a public administration, bank, statistical institute etc.

Applying for access

  • Step 1 – Apply to have your research organisation recognised as a research entity. You only need to do this once, no matter how many access requests you make subsequently (the procedure takes around 4 weeks)
  • Step 2 – Apply for access to microdata. Once we have recognised your organisation as a research entity, you can apply for access by submitting a research proposal (the procedure takes around 8-10 weeks)

How are data provided?

Depending on the access type(s) of your choice, 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".

Access to microdata is only valid for the period specified in the research proposal. At the end of that period, you must:

  • destroy any original scientific-use files sent by Eurostat and any confidential data derived from the files, and
  • send Eurostat your research results.


Announcement: According to the terms of use of confidential data, it is only allowed to access the scientific use files in the premises of research entities. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic many research entities are closed, making it impossible to work on the data. In these special circumstances, remote access to the data may be allowed if certain conditions are fulfilled (see item 8.2 of the Microdata access Guidelines). If you would like to work with the data remotely, please complete the request form.