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SOEP-Core v31i (international edition, data 1984-2014)

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, 2012 and 2013. 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

Titel: German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), data of the years 1984-2014, International Scientific Use Version

DOI: 10.5684/soep.v31i
Collection period: 1984-2014
Publication date: November 15, 2015
Principal investigators: Jürgen Schupp, Jan Goebel, Martin Kroh, Carsten Schröder, Klaudia Erhardt, Alexandra Fedorets, Marco Giesselmann, Markus Grabka, Peter Krause, Simon Kühne, Maximilian Priem, David Richter, Rainer Siegers, Paul Schmelzer, Christian Schmitt, Daniel Schnitzlein, Ingrid Tucci, Knut Wenzig

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 104,320
 Number of variables 51,203 in 365 Data sets
 Data format STATA, SPSS, SAS, CSV

MD5 fingerprints

Distribution format zip file all files
Stata English/German 23c998681b05bd61a16a3318d08267fd link | TXT, 15.95 KB
Stata German 92e29cac79cc491e09ea5011ebeb2950 link | TXT, 15.95 KB
Stata English fa3586bac7564a4ec262fa533e7a1b4f link | TXT, 15.95 KB
SPSS German 5760ed77a34cf9072fc8a66e0ac4c4e2 link | TXT, 15.95 KB
SPSS English 22a79f0a3d279b7f1ea91f9847da3dba link | TXT, 15.95 KB
SAS German e69b2023662a46403ad43c64c9ccd1f3 link | TXT, 17.83 KB
SAS English 230e114156f77c3e0006df96d4b1c35e link | TXT, 17.83 KB
CSV 8ee76e7c097b4449d96a83f8bad4468f link | TXT, 15.95 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).

Joachim R. Frick, Stephen P. Jenkins, Dean R. Lillard, Oliver Lipps und Mark Wooden (2007): The Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF) and its Member Country Household Panel Studies,  Schmollers Jahrbuch, Jg. 127 (4) , 627-654 (download)

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. (

Individual (PAPI) 2014: Field-de
Household (PAPI) 2014: Field-de
Biography (PAPI) 2014: Field-de
Youth (16-17 year-olds) 2014: Field-de
Pre-Teen (11-12 year-olds) 2015: Field-de
Mother and Child (Newborns) 2014: Field-de
Mother and Child (2-3-year-olds) 2014: Field-de
Mother and Child (5-6-year-olds) 2014: Field-de
Parents and Child (7-8-year-olds) 2014: Field-de
Mother and Child (9-10-year-olds) 2014: Field-de
Deceased Individual 2014: Field-de

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

1) SOEP 2014 – Documentation on Biography and Life History Data for SOEP v31 and v31.1

2) Documentation of Sample Sizes and Panel Attrition in the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP) (1984 until 2014)

3) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of the Person-Related Meta-Dataset PPFAD for SOEP v31

4) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of the Person-related Meta-dataset PPFAD for SOEP v31.1

5) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of the Household-Related Meta-Dataset HPFAD for SOEP v31

6) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of the Household-related Meta-dataset HPFAD for SOEP v31.1

7) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of Person-Related Status and Generated Variables in PGEN for SOEP v31

8) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of Person-related Status and Generated Variables in $PGEN for SOEP v31.1

9) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of Household-Related Status and Generated Variables in HGEN for SOEP v31

10) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of Household-related Status and Generated Variables in $HGEN for SOEP v31.1

11) SOEP 2014 – Codebook for the $PEQUIV File 1984-2014: CNEF Variables with Extended Income Information for the SOEP

12) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of the Person-Related Meta-Dataset HEALTH for SOEP v31

13) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of the Person-related Meta-dataset HEALTH for SOEP v31.1

14) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of Person-related Variables on Children in BEKIND for SOEP v31.1

15) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of the Pooled Dataset on Children in KIDLONG for SOEP v31.1

16) SOEP 2014 – Documentation of the Dataset INTERVIEWER: Detailed Information on SOEP Interviewers for SOEP v31

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