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SOEP-Core v29.1 (update, data 1984-2012)

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.

Dataset Information

Title: Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), Data from 1984-2012
DOI: 10.5684/soep.v29.1
Collection period: 1984-2012
Publication date: March 20, 2014
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

You can see the complete information by clicking at the DOI of the original data set

Data set information:

 Number of units 79,199
 Number of variables 513 in 6 data sets
 Data format STATA, SPSS, SAS, CSV
 MD5 fingerprints of the data sets

Stata German+English | TXT, 268 Byte
SPSS English | TXT, 268 Byte
SPSS German | TXT, 268 Byte
SAS English | TXT, 298 Byte
SAS German | TXT, 298 Byte
CSV | TXT, 268 Byte

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

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.

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

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

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

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

All documentation for filtering can be found on this page