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SOEP-Core v33i (international edition, data 1984-2016)

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.
: International Science Use Version of the original SOEP data (95% version of the data set This data set can be used worldwide.

Dataset Information

Title: Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), data from 1984-2016, International Scientific Use Version

DOI: 10.5684/soep.v33i
Collection period: 1984-2016
Publication date: 2017-12-01
Principal investigator: 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

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 120,381
 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 79f4c5076b249d8e16698f77eebb87a1 | TXT, 19.29 KB
Stata German 0f433722e5b990dceee7b834ee7811ba | TXT, 19.29 KB
Stata English aded671d5c5ef2270d2bb3371b900606 | TXT, 19.29 KB
SPSS German cae5c153aa87fce4e1cfbcbf4fdf3757v | TXT, 19.29 KB
SPSS English f22fd10d608d26394572b960ca562e9b | TXT, 19.29 KB
SAS German bf58a149f703741bc9c037921fc39180 | TXT, 21.53 KB
SAS English c4b57f9921a8d31f91aff656e47e2653 | TXT, 21.53 KB
CSV d48fb404344476be3f21c8516060272a | TXT, 19.29 KB
GGKBOU English  
Teaching version
Stata German 31e17d165176b7f737ee8c590b1ce5fc | TXT, 19.29 KB
Stata English 7987938078f2b1f6114bd176a801070a | TXT, 19.29 KB
SPSS German 2a5bf6b3d7806110e9833876c9e7c853 | TXT, 19.29 KB
SPSS English 33cde96691542e040976ffa1622d127d | TXT, 19.29 KB
SAS German 80e46b7f6e1070ef7068edac369e6d56 | TXT, 21.43 KB
SAS English efb0256ff56c97b081e0965b0160f474 | TXT, 21.43 KB


  • 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)

Publications using this file should refer to the above DOI infoFind an explanation on the usage of DOI here.and cite following references

  • Goebel, Jan, Markus M. Grabka, Stefan Liebig, Martin Kroh, David Richter, Carsten Schröder, and Jürgen Schupp. 2019. The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik (Journal of Economics and Statistics) 239 (2), 345-360. (
  • Schröder, Carsten, Johannes König, Alexandra Fedorets, Jan Goebel, Markus M. Grabka, Holger Lüthen, Maria Metzing, Felicitas Schikora, and Stefan Liebig. 2020. The economic research potentials of the German Socio-Economic Panel study. German Economic Review 21 (3), 335-371. (
  • Giesselmann, Marco, Sandra Bohmann, Jan Goebel, Peter Krause, Elisabeth Liebau, David Richter, Diana Schacht, Carsten Schröder, Jürgen Schupp, and Stefan Liebig. 2019. The Individual in Context(s): Research Potentials of the Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) in Sociology. European Sociological Review 35 (5), 738-755. (

If you do not exclude the cases of the migration samples in your analysis, then please also cite the following reference

  • Herbert Brücker, Martin Kroh, Simone Bartsch, Jan Goebel, Simon Kühne, Elisabeth Liebau, Parvati Trübswetter, Ingrid Tucci & Jürgen Schupp (2014): The new IAB-SOEP Migration Sample: an introduction into the methodology and the contents. SOEP Survey Paper 216 (PDF, 444.25 KB), Series C. Berlin, Nürnberg: DIW Berlin.

If you do not exclude the cases of the refugee samples in your analysis, please also cite: IAB-BAMF-SOEP survey of refugees (M3-M5), data for the years 2016-2021,

  • Herbert Brücker, Nina Rother, Jürgen Schupp. 2017. IAB-BAMF-SOEP Befragung von Geflüchteten 2016. Studiendesign, Feldergebnisse sowie Analysen zu schulischer wie beruflicher Qualifikation, Sprachkenntnissen sowie kognitiven Potenzialen. IAB Forschungsbericht 13/2017.

Individual (PAPI) 2016: Field-de Field-en Var-de Var-en
Household (PAPI) 2016: Field-de Field-en Var-de Var-en
Biography (PAPI) 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Catch-up Individual 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Youth (16-17-year-olds, A-L1) 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Early Youth (13-14-year-olds) 2016: Field-de
Pre-teen (11-12-year-olds) 2016: Field-de
Early Youth (13-14-year-olds) 2016: Var-de
Pre-teen (11-12-year-olds) 2016: Var-de
Early Youth (13-14-year-olds) 2016: Var-en
Pre-teen (11-12-year-olds) 2016: Var-en
Mother and Child (Newborns) 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Mother and Child (2-3-year-olds) 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Mother and Child (5-6-year-olds) 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Parents and Child (7-8-year-olds) 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Mother and Child (9-10-year-olds) 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Deceased Individual 2016: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Grip Strength 2016: Field-de

Please find all sample specific questionnaires of this year and all questionnaires of previous years on this site

1) Documentation on ISCED Generation Using the CAMCES Tool in the IAB-SOEP Migration Samples M1/M2

2) Sampling, Nonresponse, and Integrated Weighting of the 2016 IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees (M3/M4) – revised version

3) SOEP-Core – Documentation of Sample Sizes and Panel Attrition (1984 until 2016)

4) SOEP-Core v33.1 – Biographical Information in the Meta File PPFAD (Month of Birth, Year of Death, Immigration Variables, Living in East or West Germany in 1989)

5) SOEP-Core v33.1 – PPFAD

6) SOEP-Core v33.1 – Documentation of the Household-related Meta-dataset HPFAD

7) SOEP-Core v33.1 – $PBRUTTO

8) SOEP-Core v33.1 – $HBRUTTO

9) SOEP-Core v33.1 – Documentation of Person-related Status and Generated Variables in $PGEN

10) SOEP-Core v33.1 – Documentation of Household-related Status and Generated Variables in $HGEN

11) SOEP 2016 – Codebook for the $PEQUIV File 1984-2016: CNEF Variables with Extended Income Information for the SOEP

12) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOIMMIG: Generated Variables for Foreign Nationals, Immigrants, and Their Descendants in the SOEP

13) SOEP-Core v33.1 – HEALTH

14) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOPAREN: Biography Information for the Parents of SOEP-Respondents

15) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOAGEL: Generated Variables from the “Mother & Child”, “Parent”, and “Pupils” Questionnaires

16) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOSIB: Information on Siblings in the SOEP

17) SOEP-Core v33.1 – The Couple History Files BIOCOUPLM and BIOCOUPLY, and Marital History Files BIOMARSM and BIOMARSY

18) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOAGE17: The Youth Questionnaire

19) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOSOC: Retrospective Data on Youth and Socialization

20) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOJOB: Detailed Information on First and Last Job

21) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOEDU: Data on Educational Participation and Transitions

22) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIORESID: Variables on Occupancy and Second Residence

23) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOBIRTH: A Data Set on the Birth Biography of Male and Female Respondents

24) SOEP-Core v33.1 – BIOTWIN: TWINS in the SOEP

25) SOEP-Core v33 – INTERVIEWER: Detailed Information on SOEP Interviewers

26) SOEP-Core v33.1 – LIFESPELL: Information on the Pre- and Post-Survey History of SOEP-Respondents

27) SOEP-Core v33.1 – MIGSPELL and REFUGSPELL: The Migration-Biographies of Samples M1/M2 and M3/M4

28) SOEP-Core v33.1 – Activity Biography in the Files PBIOSPE and ARTKALEN

1) Handgreifkraftmessung im Sozio-oekonomischen Panel (SOEP) 2006 und 2008

2) The new IAB-SOEP Migration Sample: an introduction into the methodology and the contents

3) The Request for Record Linkage in the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample

4) Flowcharts for the Integrated Individual-Biography Questionnaire of the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample 2013

5) The Measurement of Labor Market Entries with SOEP Data: Introduction to the Variable EINSTIEG_ARTK

6) Job submission instructions for the SOEPremote System at DIW Berlin – Update 2014

7) SOEP 2015 – Informationen zu den SOEP-Geocodes in SOEP v32

8) Editing and Multiple Imputation of Item Non-response in the Wealth Module of the German Socio-Economic Panel

9) Die Vercodung der offenen Angaben zu den Ausbildungsberufen im Sozio-Oekonomischen Panel

10) Das Studiendesign der IAB-BAMF-SOEP Befragung von Geflüchteten

11) Scales Manual IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany – revised version

12) SOEP 2010 – Preparation of data from the new SOEP consumption module: Editing, imputation, and smoothing

13) SOEP Scales Manual (updated for SOEP-Core v32.1)

14) Kognitionspotenziale Jugendlicher - Ergänzung zum Jugendfragebogen der Längsschnittstudie Sozio-oekonomisches Panel (SOEP)

15) Die Vercodung der offenen Angaben zur beruflichen Tätigkeit nach der International Standard Classification of Occupations 2008 (ISCO08) - Direktvercodung - Vorgehensweise und Entscheidungsregeln bei nicht eindeutigen Angaben

16) Die Vercodung der offenen Angaben zur beruflichen Tätigkeit nach der Klassifikation der Berufe 2010 (KldB 2010): Vorgehensweise und Entscheidungsregeln bei nicht eindeutigen Angaben

17) Multi-Itemskalen im SOEP Jugendfragebogen

18) Zur Erhebung des adaptiven Verhaltens von zwei- und dreijährigen Kindern im Sozio-oekonomischen Panel (SOEP)

19) Documentation of ISCED Generation Based on the CAMCES Tool in the IAB-SOEP Migration Samples M1/M2 and IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees M3/M4 until 2017

20) Dokumentation zum Entwicklungsprozess des Moduls „Einstellungen zu sozialer Ungleichheit“ im SOEP (v38)

21) SOEP-CoV: Project and Data Documentation

22) Missing Income Data in the German SOEP: Incidence, Imputation and its Impact on the Income Distribution

23) SOEP 2006 – TIMEPREF: Dataset on the Economic Behavior Experiment on Time Preferences in the 2006 SOEP Survey

24) Assessing the distributional impact of "imputed rent" and "non-cash employee income" in microdata : Case studies based on EU-SILC (2004) and SOEP (2002)

25) SOEP-Core v36: Codebook for the EU-SILC-like panel for Germany based on the SOEP

All documentation for filtering can be found on this page