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Scientific Use File German Survey on Volunteering (SUF FWS) 1999, Version 3.2

Resource Type
  • Hameister, Nicole
  • Müller, Doreen
  • Kausmann, Corinna
Other Title
  • Edited version with German and English labels for variables and values (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Publication Place
  • TNS Infratest Sozialforschung (Data Collector)
Funding Reference
  • Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (BMFSFJ)
  • DZA Scheme:
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Political Sciencey
    • Pedagogy
Free Keywords
voluntary work; voluntary engagement; civic engagement; honorary office; volunteering potential; donations; voluntary activity; association; club; support; assistance; motives; civil society; organisation; life satisfaction; participation; charitable; informal support; care; social integration; political participation; migration background; regional; survey
  • Abstract

    The German Survey on Volunteering (FWS) is a representative survey of voluntary activities of persons aged 14 and older in Germany. Volunteering and the willingness to volunteer can be reported and described among population groups and across regions. Additionally, volunteers as well as former volunteers and other persons who do not volunteer can be studied. The FWS provides a substantial database for the description of volunteering in Germany and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)
    Data of the Survey on Volunteering have been recorded in 1999, 2004 and 2009. Since December 2011 it has been scientifically managed and supervised by the German Centre of Gerontology (DZA). The interviews of the fourth wave have been conducted by infas – Institute for Applied Social Sciences in 2014.

    SUF version 3.2 provides additional generated variables and a weighting factor that includes education. Moreover, minor changes in labels and the generated variable “Education” have been carried out. All changes from version 3.1 to 3.2 are documented in the User Manual.

Temporal Coverage
  • Early May to late July 1999
Sampled Universe

Germany (DE)


Random sample of German-speaking individuals aged 14 and above, living in households with landline phone (Random-Digit-Dialling as approved by ADM; Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Markt- und Sozialforschungsinstitute)

Collection Mode
  • Telephone interview: CATI
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 14922
    Number of Variables: 383
    Type of Data: SPSS and STATA
further survey years: 2004, 2009 and 2014
The anonymised data sets of the FWS are available for secondary analysis. The data has been made available to scientists at universities and research institutes exclusively for scientific purposes. The use of data is subject to written data protection agreements. Interested scholars fill out the application form, receive and sign a data distribution contract and then gain password-protected access to data and documentation.
Rights of use are at the German Centre of Gerontology (DZA), Berlin.
  • BMFSFJ (Ed.). (2010). Hauptbericht des Freiwilligensurveys 2009. Zivilgesellschaft, soziales Kapital und freiwilliges Engagement in Deutschland 1999-2004-2009. Berlin: Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend

  • Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). (Ed.) (2010). Monitor Voluntary Activities (No. 2). Volunteering in Germany 1999 - 2004 - 2009. Summary of the 3rd Survey on Volunteering. Monitor Voluntary Activities. Berlin

Update Metadata: 2019-01-31 | Issue Number: 11 | Registration Date: 2019-01-25

Hameister, Nicole; Müller, Doreen; Kausmann, Corinna (2019): Scientific Use File Deutscher Freiwilligensurvey (SUF FWS) 1999, Version 3.2. Überarbeitete Version mit deutschen und englischen Variablen- und Wertelabels. Version: 3.2. DZA - Deutsches Zentrum für Altersfragen. Dataset.