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Basic information about the German health system’s historical development from 1876 to 1999

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Sensch, Jürgen
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The German health system contains all facilities concerned with the maintenance of healt, health promotion, and the restoration of one´s health. The basis of a uniform health administration was established by the following arrangements: in 1876 the German public health department was founded in Berlin; in 1876 the statutory health insurance (abbreveation: GKV) was implemented; and in 1911 was the decree of the German empire insurance order (Reichsversicherungsordnung, abbriv. RVO). Since 1995 ca. 90 % of the population belonging to the statutory health insurance, which takes a central position in the German health system. This data compilation describes the long term development of the health care in its main features with the following information: the health care system’s financial data, information about the statutory health insurance (Organisations and members, financing, benefits), hospitals and clinical care, health care vocations. In order to create time-series-data periodically published sources were consulted. The data compilation concentrates on the description of the development of input-indicators, for example: the infrastructural medical supply (for example hospitals and the sum of beds in hospitals), the employed persons in health care (ambulant and stationary employed staff, including apothecaries), health examinations (health insurance coverage), and health expenditures. Topics Time Series available via the downloadsystem HISTAT: The main topics of the compilation are: A. Clinical maintenance (hospitals, beds in hospitals, in-patients, staff of hospitals) B. Indicators of health care C. Selected occupations of health care D. Health insurance: Organization and financing (information about the statutory health insurance: companies, members, income, expenditures) E. Basis information about social security: budget for social welfare, social benefit rate, national insurance contributions F. Health expenditures G. Population H. Macroeconomic underlying data (employees, unemployment-rate, macroeconomic monetary aggregates, actual wages and index of actual wages, price index, nominal wages index) I. International comparison (health expenditure, social benefit rate).
Temporal Coverage
  • 1876 / 1999
    The German Empire (Deutsches Reich) in its respective boarders till 1939; Federal Republik of Germany (FRG): the former area of the FRG till 1999.
Geographic Coverage
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
  • Germany (DE)
    FRG, the former area of the FRG
Collection Mode
  • Sources: Volumes of the Federal Statistical Office; statistics of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (abbr.: KBV); expert advisory board for health care concerted actions (Sachverständigenrat für die Konzertierte Aktion im Gesundheitswesen, SVR), annual reports and progress reports. Summaries of social security; statistic reports of the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMA). Statistic reports about the public health system of the Federal Ministry for Youth, Family, and healthiness. Statistic reports about the statutory health insurance of the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Sozialordnung ) and of the Federal Ministry of Health Care (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit)
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8209 (Type: ZA-No.)

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 74 | Registration Date: 2010-07-23

Sensch, Jürgen (2007): Grunddaten zur historischen Entwicklung des Gesundheitswesens in Deutschland von 1876 bis 1999. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.