Families in Germany (FiD)

Subproject of the overall evaluation of the monetary family related benefits

For the first time ever, the full range of public benefits in Germany for married people and families is being evaluated on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF).
Parts of this evaluation are conducted with already existing data on families, e.g. the Socio-economic Panel (SOEP). However, the datasets available were not sufficient for differentiated analyses of the segments of the population targeted by family policies. Particularly problematic are the very small percentages of single parents, families with more than two children, low-income families, and families with very young children in the German population. These groups are included in studies that are representative, but the number of observations is too small for sound statistical analyses.
Since 2010, the Research Infrastructure SOEP in the DIW Berlin is working in collaboration with TNS Infratest Sozialforschung to survey more than 4.500 households every year. "Familien in Deutschland" ("Families in Germany", FiD) is constructed by the following four samples:

  1. A sample of families in "critical income brackets"
  2. A sample of single parents
  3. A sample of families with more than two children
  4. A "cohort sample" of the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 (first quarter) birth cohorts.


The data were made available to the scientific community in April 2012. They can be obtained with a SOEP data distribution contract at the RDC SOEP (forms). Even though the survey instruments have been adapted to the specific research focus of the evaluation, they are based on those used for the SOEP survey. Hence combined usage of FiD and SOEP data is encouraged, especially because the majority of the known datasets are included in FiD, along with joint weighting factors to allow for analyses representative for the German population. More information, including contents and number of observations, can be found here | PDF, 39.62 KB (in German) or more detailed in the article: Schröder, Mathis, Rainer Siegers, and C. Katharina Spieß. 2013. "Familien in Deutschland" - FiD. Schmollers Jahrbuch 133 (4), 595-606 (DOI: 10.3790/schm.133.4.595).