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SOEP-Core v37 (2020) - Changes in the Dataset

Änderungen am Datensatz

Dataset Information

New samples in the main SOEP study

New Sample M6

The 2020 boost sample M6 supplements the samples of the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees by 1,141 households. To recruit these households, a random sample was drawn from the Central Register of foreigners.
The sample consists of two main groups, namely persons who entered Germany between January 2013 up to the end of December 2016, filed an asylum application and whose last change of asylum status took place in 2013 to the end of 2016 (refreshment). The second group consists of persons who entered Germany between January 2013 and end of June 2019, filed an asylum application and whose last change of asylum status took place in 2017 to the end of June 2019 (enlargement).

New Sample M7

The 2020 boost sample M7 supplements the samples of the IAB-SOEP Migration Survey by 783 households. Similar to the M1 and M2 sample, register data of the Federal Employment Agency was used as a sampling frame. Information is collected on households with recent migrants from Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria between January 2016 and December 2018.

New Sample M8

The 2020 boost sample M8 supplements the samples of the IAB-SOEP Migration Survey by 1,096 households. Register data of the Federal Employment Agency was used to identify the population of third-country nationals who applied for working in Germany as professionals ("Fachkräfte") based on the Residence Act (Zuwanderungsgesetz) and were granted a permission in the time from January 2019 until January 2020. The sample also provides a basis to evaluate the "Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz" becoming effective on March 1, 2020.

New datasets or variables

Dataset COV, COV_BRUTTO, COV_CONTACT - Datasets of SOEP-CoV study

All three datasets are associated with the 9 tranches of the SOEP-CoV in 2020, the SOEP-CoV wave in 2021 and COVID-19-special interviews 2020 from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany. More information about the project can be found online at the SOEP-Cov Homepage or in the references below, which we also recommend to cite if the data is used.

Kühne, S., Kroh, M., Liebig, S. & S. Zinn, (2020): The Need for Household Panel Surveys in Times of Crisis: The Case of SOEP-CoV. In: Survey Research Methods 14(2): 195-203.

Siegers, R., Steinhauer, H.-W. & S. Zinn, (2021): Weighting the SOEP-CoV study 2020. No. 989. SOEP Survey Papers.

  • COV contains the survey content
  • COV_Brutto contains the brutto information
  • COV_CONTACT contains the contact information

Dataset bkbiorki - Dataset of RKI-SOEp study

The dataset contains information about: "How many people have already been infected with the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2? How many infections have gone undetected?" More information about the project can be found online at Nationwide Antibody “Study Living in Germany - Corona Monitoring” (RKI-SOEP).

bkbiorki contains results of PCR and DBS tests, as well as survey content. Data is available on request.

Old ID Variables no longer distributed

With V34, we introduced a new directory structure by merging our former independently delivered data formats SOEP-wide and SOEP-long. In the top-level (or root) directory, you find all "SOEPlong datasets" (pl, ppfadl, pl, hl, pgen, hgen etc.) as well as all of the biographical or spell datasets (bioparen, artkalen, etc.).

The raw directory provides the datasets in their original wide and cross-sectional SOEP format. What`s new is that we offer identifiers identical to the names in the long data (PERSNR to PID or $HHRNAKT to HID) and an additional variable survey year (SYEAR), so that users can easily merge variables from both data formats.

In order to ensure consistency of data and also to not alienate new users, these traditional "old" ID variables (PERSNR, HHNR, $HHNR, HHNRAKT) will no longer be delivered starting this year. Please use the new identifiers (PID, HID, CID, SYEAR).

Changes in our new main data format, SOEPlong


Dataset BIOL

  • Camces variables were removed from biol
  • Recognition of educational qualifications loops have been revised
  • Migration to Germany loops have been revised
  • In 1984-1995, the „Current Household Number (hid)“ was used when generating the „Original Houshold Number, Case ID (cid)“. Now the „Original Houshold Number, Case ID (cid)“ is used as the information source for the long version.

Dataset PL

  • Variables for short-time work, further training/retraining newly added and versioned
  • Multiple integrations, versioning and harmonizations for variables on self-employment
  • Multiple integrations for Place of residence loops
  • Multiple integrations of M1-Sample cases for the survey year 2014
  • Multiple integrations for questions on balance sheet assets
  • New variables added (digitization labor market)


  • Integration of Grades
  • Integration of School Belonging Scale PISA


  • New variables for sample selection

Dataset HBRUTT

  • New variables for sample selection
  • Versioning of some living environment variables and incentivization


  • Versioning of variables on language support


BIOBIRTH now contains one row for each person who has ever lived in a SOEP household and therefore represents the population of PPFAD. Unlike in v36, where BIOBIRTH provided fertility information on every woman and man who has ever provided at least one successful SOEP Biography interview.

Precise identification of individuals and their information quality as well as the respondent´s status is possible via the variables biovalid and the new variable bioinfo. Theses variables provide information on whether individual level information is based merely on information derived from household composition and family relations, or on biographical questionnaire data. This should help data users to better assess how trustworthy a piece of information is. Birth information of persons without a completed SOEP Biography interview can only be inferred and is estimated via household composition and family relations. The variables kidpnr[nn], kidgeb[nn], kidmon[nn], kidsex[nn] were increased from a maximum of 15 possible children to 19 possible children. The information from kidmon[nn] is based on the information from the slightly new generated variable kidmon[nn] from PPFAD.

Dataset HGEN

New variable hgeqpfire introduced. The variable indicates whether a household has a fireplace or ceramic tiled stove.

Dataset PFLEGE

Two variables are no longer part of the file PFLEGE: MULTGRAD and WERPFLGT. Instead, 6 new dummy variables were included. These new variables describe by whom care is provided for a person in need of care in a household:

  • WERPFLGT1 “Public, church nurse, social worker”
  • WERPFLGT2 “Who cares: friends, neighbors”
  • WERPFLGT3 “Who cares: relatives not in the HH”
  • WERPFLGT4 “Who cares: relatives in the HH”
  • WERPFLGT5 “Who cares: private care service”
  • WERPFLGT6 “Who cares: other”

Dataset PEQUIV

The dataset PEQUIV contains two new additional variables. These are:

  • BAUK$$ “Building subsidy for new property owners”
  • FKAUK$$ “Imputation lag for variable BAUK$$”


Variable educ_i (surveyed education of interviewer) was recoded and incorrect value labels were corrected.

old (wrong) values:
[1] Secondary School Degree - Sekundarschulabschluss
[2] Intermediate School Degree - Mittlerer Schulabschluss
[3] Upper Secondary School Degree - Abschluss der Sekundarstufe II
[4] Left university without degree - Hochschule ohne Abschluss verlassen
[5] Graduate degree - Hochschulabschluss

new (correct) values:
[1] No School Degree - Ohne Abschluss
[2] Secondary School Degree (GDR: 8th grade) - Hauptschulabschluss (DDR: 8. Klasse)
[3] Intermediate School Degree (GDR: 10th grade) - Mittlere Reife(DDR: 10. Klasse)
[4] Technical School Degree - Fachhochschulreife
[5] Upper Secondary Degree - Abitur/Hochschulreife

Outdated versions of datasets

The following data sets are still at the V36 level and have not been updated. We will update them as far as possible with the next realease of the data:

Dataset Description
migspell Migrations History
refugspell Migration History for Refugees
biojob First and Last Job
bioedu Educationsl History
bioparen SES of Parents
biosib Sibling Information
biotwin Twins Information