Data distribution 1984-2016 (soep.v33)

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Title: Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), data from 1984-2016

DOI: 10.5684/soep.v33
Collection period: 1984-2016
Publication date: 2017-11-29
Principal investigators: Jürgen Schupp, Jan Goebel, Martin Kroh, Carsten Schröder, Charlotte Bartels, Klaudia Erhardt, Alexandra Fedorets, Andreas Franken, Marco Giesselmann, Markus Grabka, Peter Krause, Hannes Kröger, Simon Kühne, Maria Metzing, Jana Nebelin, David Richter, Diana Schacht, Paul Schmelzer, Christian Schmitt, Daniel Schnitzlein, Rainer Siegers, Knut Wenzig

Short description

The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study is a wide-ranging representative longitudinal study of private households, located at the German Institute for Economic Research, DIW Berlin. Every year, there were nearly 15,000 households, and more than 25,000 persons sampled by the fieldwork organization TNS Infratest Sozialforschung. The data provide information on all household members, consisting of Germans living in the Eastern and Western German States, foreigners, and immigrants to Germany. The Panel was started in 1984. Some of the many topics include household composition, occupational biographies, employment, earnings, health and satisfaction indicators. As early as June 1990—even before the Economic, Social and Monetary Union—SOEP expanded to include the states of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), thus seizing the rare opportunity to observe the transformation of an entire society. Also immigrant samples were added in 1994/95 and 2013/2015 to account for the changes that took place in Germany society. Two samples of refugees were introduced in 2016. Further new samples were added in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The survey is constantly being adapted and developed in response to current social developments. The international version contains 95% of all cases surveyed (see 10.5684/soep.v33i).

Data collector: Kantar Deutschland GmbH

Population: Persons living in private households in Germany

Selection method: All samples of SOEP are multi-stage random samples which are regionally clustered. The respondents (households) are selected by random-walk. 

Collection mode: The interview methodology of the SOEP is based on a set of pre-tested questionnaires for households and individuals. Principally an interviewer tries to obtain face-to-face interviews with all members of a given survey household aged 16 years and over. Additionally one person (head of household) is asked to answer a household related questionnaire covering information on housing, housing costs, and different sources of income. This covers also some questions on children in the household up to 16 years of age, mainly concerning attendance at institutions (kindergarten, elementary school, etc.)

Data set information:

 Number of units 126,804
 Number of variables 72,709 in 439 data sets
 Data format STATA, SPSS, SAS, CSV

MD5 fingerprints

Distribution format zip file all files
Stata bilingual 9d7060ce9c558bb04cb12313b3a4e301 | TXT, 19.29 KB
Stata German 82dd72b32c4df1537f9eea6ee5e6979e | TXT, 19.29 KB
Stata English eaac22439a6140535ff8aa38697a94b8 | TXT, 19.29 KB
SPSS German 39ebdcfd0ace11126be8adb5fac1e391 | TXT, 19.29 KB
SPSS English bb78f99791cde312300108c1a62e2774 | TXT, 19.29 KB
SAS German 80ddb241799719c645b152377c69345e | TXT, 21.53 KB
SAS English 94b0c9c087cdfefb02fccb7c00b45212 | TXT, 21.53 KB
CSV 7f59155d2e79c89cfc58ffc2831db986 | TXT, 19.29 KB
GGKBOU dae7d695fc83fa783290a9b9493eb9e3 | TXT, 140 Byte
GGKBOU English 2d064fe8b84b42e806d231b46a8b2454 | TXT, 140 Byte
Teaching versions
Stata German 31e17d165176b7f737ee8c590b1ce5fc
Stata English 7987938078f2b1f6114bd176a801070a
SPSS German 2a5bf6b3d7806110e9833876c9e7c853
SPSS English 33cde96691542e040976ffa1622d127d
SAS German 80e46b7f6e1070ef7068edac369e6d56
SAS English (teaching) efb0256ff56c97b081e0965b0160f474


  • Gert G. Wagner, Joachim R. Frick, and Jürgen Schupp (2007) The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) - Scope, Evolution and Enhancements, Schmollers Jahrbuch (Journal of Applied Social Science Studies), 127 (1), 139-169 (download).
  • Schupp, Jürgen (2009): 25 Jahre Sozio-oekonomisches Panel - Ein Infrastrukturprojekt der empirischen Sozial- und Wirtschaftsforschung in Deutschland, Zeitschrift für Soziologie 38 (5),  350-357 (download).
  • Gert G. Wagner, Jan Göbel, Peter Krause, Rainer Pischner, and Ingo Sieber (2008) Das Sozio-oekonomische Panel (SOEP): Multidisziplinäres Haushaltspanel und Kohortenstudie für Deutschland - Eine Einführung (für neue Datennutzer) mit einem Ausblick (für erfahrene Anwender), AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv 2 (4), 301-328 (download).


The SOEP micro data which we make available for scientific research can only be interpreted using statistical software. Direct use of SOEP data is subject to the high standards for lawful data protection in the Federal Republic of Germany. Signing a contract on data distribution with the DIW Berlin is therefore a precondition for working with SOEP data. After signing the contract, the data of every new wave will be available on request. 
more information

Online documentation and updates

All documentation coming soon!

Version specific changes in the dataset.