Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), Germany - Prime Age (2012)

Solga, Heike (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung); Heisig, Jan Paul (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung)
In the project "Studie zum Zusammenhang von Kompetenzen und Arbeitsmarktchancen von gering Qualifizierten in Deutschland" (Study on the Relationship between Skills and Labour Market Opportunities of People with Low Qualifications in Germany, funded by the Federal Ministry of E...
published 2015-11-18, Version 1.1.0

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Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), Germany - Prime Age (2012)


Solga, Heike
Heisig, Jan Paul

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TNS Infratest, Munich, Germany



Sampled Universe
Persons between 26 and 55 years of age in private households, regardless of nationality, residence status or language skills, having their main residence in Germany during the survey period.
Probability: Multistage; Sampling Procedure Comment: Probability Sample: Proportionate Stratified Sample Resistry-based, two-stage stratified and clustered sampling design with selection of municipalities as primary sampling units or clusters at the first stage, and selection of individuals at the second stage.

Time Dimension

  • Cross-section

Collection Mode

  • Face-to-face interview: CAPI/CAMI
  • Educational measurements and tests
  • Face-to-face interview: CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) Educational measurements and tests in the domains literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments

DataSets and Files

  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 4000
    Number of Variables: 1408


  • Abstract

    In the project "Studie zum Zusammenhang von Kompetenzen und Arbeitsmarktchancen von gering Qualifizierten in Deutschland" (Study on the Relationship between Skills and Labour Market Opportunities of People with Low Qualifications in Germany, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, funding number PLI3061), the skills and labour market opportunities of people aged 26 to 55 in Germany were examined in more detail. This is an age group that is in the active employment phase and has generally completed its training phase. In order to be able to make reliable statements about this group, an increase sample of people aged 26 to 55 living in eastern Germany was drawn at the same time as the PIAAC sample was drawn. The 560 additional cases surveyed are not part of the main sample in the PIAAC Public and Scientific Use Files (ZA 5845), but were later combined with the net cases of the PIAAC main sample (aged 26 to 55) in the present dataset. The present data set thus includes the supplementary sample for East Germany and the 26 to 55-year-old respondents from the main sample (study number ZA 5845). For these persons, competence values (plausible values) are available in the following areas as well as background information- reading literacy- expertise in everyday mathematics- technology-based problem solving. Respondents aged 26 to 55 from the main PIAAC sample may have slightly different values in some variables in this data set. These include competence, income and weighting variables. The reason for this is that the imputation and scaling procedures for these variables were performed separately for both datasets to ensure maximum internal consistency of each dataset. The background questionnaire for PIAAC is divided into the following topics: A: General information such as age and gender B: Education as the highest educational attainment, current education, participation in further education C: Employment status and background such as paid work and unpaid work for a family business, job search information D: Information on current employment such as occupation, self-employment and income E: Information on last gainful employment such as occupation, self-employment, reason for leaving the company Q: Skills used at work such as influence and physical skills G: Reading, writing, etc. during work H: Reading, writing etc. in everyday life I: Attitude and self-assessment to e.g. learning and voluntary work J: background information such as country of birth, nationality, language, professions of parents In addition, the data set contains further derived background variables, information on competence measurement, information on sampling and weighting, limited regional data, and time data for the interview. For data protection reasons, the information on the municipal size class is only available to a limited extent. Furthermore, the data on the country of origin, nationality and the country where the highest school leaving certificate was obtained have been coarsened. These data were categorised on the basis of the microcensus.


Survey unit: adults### Sampling was carried out at the same time as PIAAC (ZA 5845). A supplementary sample was drawn for this project in addition to the PIAAC sample. Sample of persons: The sample for the PIAAC sample was drawn as a two-stage stratified and clumped random selection from all persons living in the Federal Republic of Germany (Germans and foreigners) who lived in private households at the time of the survey and were between 16 and 65 years old. The selection unit of the first drawing stage were municipalities that were selected according to regional characteristics and stratified according to size. At the second drawing stage, target persons of the population as a whole were systematically randomly selected from the respective population register in each municipality drawn. In the municipalities drawn from the eastern German Länder and in eastern Berlin, disproportionately more persons from the population registers were selected from the respective population registers, so that target persons aged between 26 and 55 could be randomly selected for the supplementary sample. In contrast to the scientific-use file of the PIAAC main sample (ZA 5845), the present data set contains a variable (Federal_state2) that differentiates between East and West Berlin respondents. Also included is the variable ´Federal_state´, which summarizes East and West Berlin respondents and is also available in the scientific use file of the main sample. The distinction between East and West Berlin in the variable ´Federal_state2´ was made on the basis of the district boundaries before the 2001 reform, which corresponds to the classification before reunification. Sampling and weighting were also carried out on this basis. The district classification before 2001 and its allocation to East and West Berlin are shown in the right-hand part (columns ´Old districts´ and ´East/West allocation´) of Table 1 in the appendix. The left part of the table (´New districts´) shows how the old districts are distributed among the districts existing since the 2001 reform.


Temporal Coverage

  • 2011-08 / 2012-03

Geographic Coverage

  • Germany (DE)


Alternative Identifiers

  • ZA5951 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • PIAAC (Type: FDZ)
  • 1 (Type: VerbundFDB)

Related Identifiers

  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.4232/1.12197


  • Rammstedt, B. (Hrsg.) (2013): Grundlegende Kompetenzen Erwachsener im internationalen Vergleich: Ergebnisse von PIAAC 2012. Münster: Waxmann.
  • Zabal, A. et al. (2014). PIAAC Germany 2012: Technical Report. Münster: Waxmann.
  • OECD. (2013c). Technical report of the Survey of Adult Skills. Paris: OECD.
  • Heisig, J. P. und H. Solga (2014). Kompetenzen, Arbeitsmarkt- und Weiterbildungschancen von gering Qualifizierten in Deutschland: Befunde aus PIAAC. S. 11-31 in: Projektträger im Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (Hg.). Kompetenzen von gering Qualifizierten. Befunde und Konzepte. Bielefeld: W. Bertelsmann Verlag.

Update Metadata: 2023-02-01 | Issue Number: 23 | Registration Date: 2015-11-18