Questions & Answers

We survey a sample of the resident population of Germany, including migrants without German citizenship. Study participants are selected using a scientifically sound sampling procedure to rule out bias in the results. It is not possible to register to participate in the study.

German society is evolving constantly and faces new challenges all the time. Researchers continuously measure the changes to provide a solid basis for policy decisions. The study “Living in Germany” is a key component of these measurements. Each individual’s survey responses are important: they give voice to perspectives that might otherwise never be heard. The aim is to obtain a complete picture of the living situations of the entire population without excluding any group.

In surveys that are carried out over many years, people may stop participating for a variety of reasons.

If one or even more people in a household stop taking part, the missing information can distort survey results. These distortions can only be eliminated through complex procedures for calculating averages. The more gaps like these occur in the data, the more difficult it becomes to make reliable and robust calculations.

Every household whose members have participated regularly over the course of years or even decades helps to ensure that the results from “Living in Germany” are of exceptionally high quality. To make this happen, we need your commitment every year. Because every single person counts.

One-time surveys, even if they are repeated at intervals, are always just snapshots. As a result, they are limited in their ability to reveal changes in society, especially if these changes differ from one group to another. Only when one and the same person participates in a survey repeatedly is it possible to analyze different trends in society.

The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) is an independent research infrastructure based at DIW Berlin. The SOEP team prepares the survey data so that researchers from all over the world can use them in their own research. As a member of the Leibniz Association, SOEP is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Germany’s state governments.

The infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences in Bonn is a private, independent social research institute that provides research and advice to businesses, scientific institutions, and policy makers. Infas offers a range of services including national and international studies on topics such as the labor market, education, and transportation. infas carries out numerous panel studies and evaluations for major scientific research projects. Founded in 1959, infas currently employs over 120 researchers in a variety of disciplines and is among the ten largest empirical research institutes in Germany.

We are happy to be notified of changes in your contact details, such as a new address or telephone number, so that we can reach you again for the next survey. You can easily change your address in our online address book , or contact us at:

infas Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft GmbH
Postfach 240101
53154 Bonn
Phone 0800/66 77 876
LiD@infas.de

Please contact your interviewer to reschedule. You can also contact us directly— we would be happy to pass the information on to your interviewer:

infas Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft GmbH
Postfach 240101
53154 Bonn
Phone 0800/66 77 876
LiD@infas.de

Even if nothing in your life has changed, you should take part in the survey again. It is important that each and every participant is surveyed repeatedly in order for researchers to be able to detect changes in society. This is the only way to see what has changed in the living situations of different population groups.

Special statistical programs are used to evaluate the survey results. For instance, they count the percentage of respondents who gave a particular answer. Tables and graphs are generated showing the overall results and the results for specific subgroups such as men and women. It is impossible to derive any information from these data that could be used to personally identify the individuals who gave the answers.

You can find more information on data protection HERE.

We assure you that all data will be treated strictly confidentially and will only be used for scientific research purposes.

You can find more information on data protection HERE.

DIW Berlin has commissioned infas to conduct the surveys for the “Living in Germany” study in the coming years. Kantar – Public Division has therefore transferred your contact information to infas. infas will keep your contact information on file with the sole purpose of being able to contact you again and interview you at a later date as part of this survey.

Households are selected to participate in the study “Living in Germany” from appropriate databases based on a random statistical procedure. These databases include the registers of the Residents’ Registration Offices and the Federal Employment Agency as well as the Central Register of Foreigners. Selected households then participate in the study on behalf of many households in Germany.

Your participation in the study is voluntary. You can leave individual questions unanswered, and you can revoke your consent to participate in the study at any time by contacting infas.

You can find more information on data protection HERE.

If you no longer wish to participate in “Living in Germany,” you can revoke your consent to participate at any time without giving reasons. The infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences accepts notice in writing (Friedrich-Wilhelm-Straße 18, 53113 Bonn, Germany) or by telephone: 0800 66 77 876. When you terminate your participation, all of your contact information will be deleted so that we can no longer contact you.

The privacy policy we sent you by mail contains further information. We will be very sorry if you decide to stop taking part, but are very grateful for your time and commitment to this important study.

You can find more information on data protection HERE.

Participation is, of course, voluntary. You will not suffer any consequences of any kind if you choose not to participate. Even if you have agreed to participate in the study “Living in Germany”, you do not necessarily have to answer all the questions. You can decide for each question whether you want to answer it or not.

If one or more people in a household stop taking part in the study, the missing information can distort survey results. These distortions can only be eliminated through complex procedures for calculating averages. The more gaps like these occur in the data, the more difficult it becomes to make reliable and robust calculations.

Every household whose members have participated regularly over the course of years or even decades helps to ensure that the results from “Living in Germany” are of exceptionally high quality. To make this happen, we need your commitment every year. Because every single person counts.

You can find more information on data protection HERE.

An interviewer will contact you to make an appointment for your interview. To eliminate any risk of virus transmission during the interview, they have been thoroughly trained in preventative measures for COVID-19 in accordance with current official guidelines. Your interviewer will be wearing an FFP2 mask when they ring your doorbell. And they will work with you to ensure that the minimum distance of 1.5 meters is maintained and that hygiene rules are observed throughout the entire interview. Your interviewer will also provide you with a hygiene kit consisting of a mask, disposable gloves, disinfectant gel, and disinfectant wipes.

Since the incidence of infection is always changing, appointments may have to be cancelled or postponed at short notice. We ask that you cancel your interview appointment if you have been instructed to quarantine or if you have cold symptoms or feel ill.

To learn more, see our brochure (PDF).