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 11,000 households, and more than 20,000 persons sampled by the fieldwork organization TNS Infratest Sozialforschung. The data provide information on all household members, consisting of Germans living in the Old and New German States, foreigners, and recent 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. An immigrant sample was added as well to account for the changes that took place in German society in 1994/95. Further new samples were added in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2009, 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.
Titel: German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), data of the years 1984-2012
Collection period: 1984-2012
Publication date: Nov. 06, 2013
Principal investigators: Jürgen Schupp, Martin Kroh, Jan Goebel, Simone Bartsch, Marco Giesselmann, Markus Grabka, Peter Krause, Elisabeth Liebau, David Richter, Christian Schmitt, Daniel Schnitzlein, Frauke Peter, Ingrid Tucci
Data collector: TNS Infratest Sozialforschung 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||77.934|
|Number of variables||50.231 in 376 data sets|
|Data format||STATA, SPSS, SAS, CSV|
|MD5 fingerprints of the data sets|
Publications using this file should refer to the above DOI Find an explanation on the usage of DOI here.and cite one of the following references
The new data distribution (1984-2012) "SOEP v29" provides, for the most recent survey year 2012, the usual wave-specific data files BCPBRUTTO, BCP, BCPKAL, BCPGEN, BCPAGE17, BCHBRUTTO, BCH, BCHGEN, BCKIND, and BBPLUECKE as well as the updated files with a longitudinal component (PFAD files, biography files, spell data, and weighting factors).
1. New subsample K
In 2012, we added a new refreshment sample with 1,526 new households (Sample K). In total, 12,322 households were interviewed as part of the 2012 fieldwork. As with previous general population samples, the refreshment sample K was realized by using a multi-stage stratified sampling design. Refreshment sample K resulted in a very similar response rate of 34.7 % compared to our last Refreshment Sample J. Thus, the general downward trend in participation was successfully stopped through a range of measures including centralized face-to-face interviewer training, better pay for interviewers, and more attractive incentives for respondents.
In the current refreshment samples, fieldwork is conducted exclusively by CAPI, as it was with the previous refreshments H (2006), I (2009), and J (2011). Similarly to our other refreshment samples, data collection is focused on three main questionnaires: the household, the individual, and the youth questionnaire. Thus, no supplementary questionnaires were used with respondents in wave 1. The reason for focusing on the key questionnaires is to avoid "overburdening" respondents with a lengthy wave 1 interview.
2. Revision of the weighting and estimation procedure
In version SOEP v29 of the SOEP data, the data from subsamples J and K (first collected in 2011 and 2012, respectively) have been adjusted to the German Microcensus for the number of employed people in households of different sizes as well as for the number of private households receiving Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II). This correction prevents an overestimation of households receiving ALG II in the unweighted samples J and K.
Also, for all newly drawn samples since 1998, a minor adjustment has been made to the definition of households containing foreign nationals. The criterion is no longer the household head but the presence of at least one person of foreign nationality in the household. The revision was made due to a slightly increasing discrepancy between the reference person chosen in the German Microcensus and the household head in the SOEP.
3. New datasets / variables
4. Improvements and Bug Fixes
|Value||Wave BB (2011)||Wave BC (2012)|
|0||Head Of Household||Head Of Household|
|1||Spouse Of HH Head|
|8||Brother, Sister,-In Law|
|11||Non-Relative||Spouse Of HH Head|
|12||Child of HH-Heads Partner||Same-Sex Spouse|
|13||Same-Sex Spouse||Life Partner|
|22||Stepchild (Child of the Partner)|
|32||Step Father / Step Mother / Spouse of Father or Mother|
|33||Adoptive Father or Mother|
|34||Foster Father or Mother|
|51||Brother, Sister -in Law (spouse of brother/sister)|
|52||Brother, Sister -in Law (brother/sister of spouse)|
Please note that this also affects the corresponding variables in the dataset $KIND (and KIDLONG) and BIOPAREN.
1984-2012 (Wave BC)
Errors in the imputation of electricity, heating, and additional expenses for tenants in the current data distribution resulted in values that were too high. These errors also affected the generation of rent including maintenance but excluding heating. The variables affected are: electr$$, heat$$, util$$, rent$$, and frent$$ for the years 2008 to 2012. The variables typ1hh12 and typ2hh12 changed for two households.
Also in the 2012 survey year, after the suspension of compulsory military service in Germany, the related calendar information in the individual questionnaire was revised. This revision was made in the original individual data for 2012 but not in the corresponding calendar data—these have now been updated retrospectively for the data distribution v29.
Both errors were corrected and an update is now available for downloading upon request (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to use this updated version in your work, please cite the version number, SOEP v29.1 (or better, doi: 10.5684/soep.v29.1) in publications using these data.
Individual 2012: Field-de
Household (PAPI) 2013: Field-de
Household 2012: Field-de
Biography 2012: Field-de
Catch-up Individual 2012: Field-de
Youth (16-17 year-olds) 2013: Field-de
Youth (16-17 year-olds) 2012: Field-de
Mother and Child (Newborns) 2012: Field-de Field-en
Mother and Child (2-3-year-olds) 2012: Field-de Field-de
Mother and Child (5-6-year-olds) 2012: Field-de Field-de
Parents and Child (7-8-year-olds) 2012: Field-de Field-en
Mother and Child (9-10-year-olds) 2012: Field-de Field-en
Deceased person 2012: Field-de
Grip Strength 2012: Field-de
Interviewer (PAPI) 2012: Field-de Var-de Var-en
Please find all sample specific questionnaires of this year and all questionnaires of previous years on this site
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
All documentation for filtering can be found on this page