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Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), data from 1984-2012

Resource Type
  • Schupp, Jürgen
  • Kroh, Martin
  • Goebel, Jan
  • Bartsch, Simone
  • Giesselmann, Marco
  • Grabka, Markus
  • Krause, Peter
  • Liebau, Elisabeth
  • Richter, David
  • Schmitt, Christian
  • Schnitzlein, Daniel
  • Peter, Frauke
  • Tucci, Ingrid
Publication Date
  • TNS Infratest Sozialforschung GmbH (Data Collector)
  • SOEP Schema:
    • Economy
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Empirical educational research
    • Psychology
Free Keywords
Political Attitudes and Behavior; Work and Industry; Occupation; Profession; Income; Society; Culture; Family; Education; School Systems; Leisure
  • Abstract

    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 Eastern and Western German States, foreigners, and 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 Germany 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.

Temporal Coverage
  • 1984 / 2012
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe

Persons living in private households in Germany


All samples of SOEP are multi-stage random samples which are regionally clustered. The respondents (households) are selected by random-walk.

Time Dimension
  • Longitudinal: Panel
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.)

  • Face-to-face interview
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 77934
    Number of Variables: 50231
    • File Name:
      File Format: CSV
      Data Fingerprint: 39d1943033f52569abdcc72775eaa0ab
      Method Fingerprint: MD5
    • File Name:
      File Format: SAS
      Data Fingerprint: dcf84db63c690241e16b5b2ba7005f1b
      Method Fingerprint: MD5
    • File Name:
      File Format: SAS
      Data Fingerprint: 4258bdbbfab218cf1bb27addd1f513cf
      Method Fingerprint: MD5
    • File Name:
      File Format: SPSS
      Data Fingerprint: ef7a39b4559033ea4eca9752f6e27971
      Method Fingerprint: MD5
    • File Name:
      File Format: SPSS
      Data Fingerprint: 509253230c2897faa1eca1b14b95f298
      Method Fingerprint: MD5
    • File Name:
      File Format: STATA
      Data Fingerprint: 68f41ac2d513a368d0126660a7ad53c5
      Method Fingerprint: MD5
Number of datasets: 376
Data and documents are only released for academic research and teaching after the data depositor's written authorization.
  • Wagner, Gert G.; Goebel, Jan; Krause, Peter; Pischner, Rainer; Sieber, Ingo: Das Sozio-oekonomische Panel (SOEP): Multidisziplinäres Haushaltspanel und Kohortenstudie für Deutschland - Eine Einführung (für neue Datennutzer) mit einem Ausblick (für erfahrene Anwender). In: AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv2008, Volume 4, p. 301-328. (Article)
  • Wagner, Gert G.; Frick, Joachim R.; Schupp, Jürgen: The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements. In: Schmollers Jahrbuch (Journal of Applied Social Science Studies)2007, Volume 127, p. 139-169. (Article)
  • Schupp, Jürgen: 25 Jahre Sozio-oekonomisches Panel - Ein Infrastrukturprojekt der empirischen Sozial- und Wirtschaftsforschung in Deutschland. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie2009, Volume 38, p. 350-357. (Article)

Update Metadata: 2017-12-28 | Issue Number: 10 | Registration Date: 2013-11-18

Schupp, Jürgen; Kroh, Martin; Goebel, Jan; Bartsch, Simone; Giesselmann, Marco et. al. (2013): Sozio-oekonomisches Panel (SOEP), Daten der Jahre 1984-2012. Version: 29. SOEP - Sozio-oekonomisches Panel. Dataset.