The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) is an instrument aimed at collecting timely and comparable cross-sectional and longitudinal multidimensional microdata on income, poverty and social exclusion. It is the European Union (EU) reference source for comparative statistics on income distribution and social exclusion at European level, particularly in the context of the 'Programme of Community action to encourage cooperation between Member States to combat social exclusion' and for producing structural indicators on social cohesion for the annual spring report to the European Council.
EU-SILC was launched in 2004 in 13 Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Austria, Portugal, Finland and Sweden) and in Norway and Iceland. Now the data are available for all EU27 Member States and Iceland and Norway.
The EU-SILC instrument aims to provide two types of data:
- cross-sectional data pertaining to a given time or a certain time period with variables on income, poverty, social exclusion and other living conditions;
- longitudinal data pertaining to individual-level changes over time, observed periodically over, typically, a four years period.
EU-SILC data are collected by National Statistical Institutes and could come from different sources. In some participant countries a new survey was launched with cross-sectional and longitudinal elements. In other countries a combination of registers and surveys is used, that is the data for the same respondents are collected partly by interview and partly from register.
The EU-SILC dataset has been produced in accordance with EU regulations under guidance from Eurostat. The data contains interview survey data for adults aged 16 years and over, plus basic demographic information for children in the register files. These variables cover topics such as:
- basic personal and household data
- child care
- dwelling type, tenure status and housing conditions
- housing costs and amenities
- housing and non-housing related arrears
- non-monetary household deprivation indicators
- physical and social environment
- household and personal level income
- health and access to healthcare
- labour information
In addition, every year a European Commission regulation describing the list of secondary target variables (annual modules) is published. These ad-hoc modules are developed each year in order to complement the variables permanently collected in EU-SILC with supplementary variables highlighting unexplored aspects of social inclusion:
- 2012 ad hoc module: Housing conditions
- 2011 ad hoc module: Intergenerational transmission of disadvantages
- 2010 ad hoc module: Intra-household sharing of resources
- 2009 ad hoc module: Material deprivation
- 2008 ad hoc module: Over-indebtedness and financial exclusion
- 2007 ad hoc module: Housing conditions
- 2006 ad hoc module: Social participation
- 2005 ad hoc module: Intergenerational transmission of poverty
UniData provides datasets related to the Italian survey (from Istat), available to the members only. The European survey, however, must be obtained from Eurostat. For structured staff, research fellows and Ph.D. students of the University of Milano-Bicocca UniData directly handles the request at the European Statistical Office (for more information see the following page).