The study

Several thousand people in Germany are surveyed every year as part of the study “Living in Germany”—the same people every year. Currently, there are 32,000 people in 22,000 households participating. The aim is to survey these respondents regularly over a long period of time. The long time span enables researchers to study how society changes over time.

“Living in Germany” collects data on many areas of life, including employment, income, housing, education, and health. It also covers satisfaction with life and political attitudes and opinions. It also deals with events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it has brought about in our everyday lives.

The study “Living in Germany” has a long success story dating back to 1984. Over the decades since it was launched, German society has been changing continuously. To trace these changes and to describe them in a way that is representative of the entire population, the study has regularly added new samples of respondents from specific population groups. One important extension of the study took place just after the fall of the Wall, when “Living in Germany” was expanded to cover the territory of the (former) GDR. In 2013, the study added a sample of new respondents from migrant populations to Germany, and in 2016, a sample of refugees. And in 2019, a sample of high-wealth individuals was added.

For a study like “Living in Germany,” the most important rule is this: The larger the number of people from a wide range of population groups who participate, the more robust the research results will be.

Who is conducting the survey

The survey is coordinated and conducted by the infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences, Bonn, on behalf of DIW Berlin. The team of experts at the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin process the survey data so that researchers in Germany and internationally can use them in their analyses.