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 European Commission > Eurostat > Income and Living Conditions > Methodology > List of variables

List of variables

EU-SILC comprises a list of target variables which are based on common guidelines. Each country may implement the most efficient solution from a national perspective to deliver the data corresponding to each variable. (For more details see Questionnaires under 'Quality') There are two kinds of variables in EU-SILC: the primary and secondary variables.

Primary variables

The primary variables are collected every year. These variables refer either to household or to individual (for person aged 16 and more) information and are regrouped into domains:

  • At household level, four domains are covered: (1) basic data, (2) housing, (3) material deprivation and (4) income.

  • The personal level is regrouped into five domains: (1) basic/demographic data, (2) education, (3) health, (4) labour and (5) income.

  pdf iconHousehold register (list)

  Household data (list)


  Personal register (list)

  Personal data (list)


Secondary variables

Secondary variables are collected every five years or less frequently in the so-called ad-hoc modules. They include information either at household or personal level about specific topics.

Over time, the following topics have been addressed:


Supplementary variables on Material Deprivation

It is a pilot data collection, based on ESS agreement (for further details on ESS agreement see “Legislation”), of supplementary compulsory and optional variables on material deprivation implemented in 2013.

Last update 27.08.2010