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 European Commission > Eurostat > Access to microdata > Introduction

Introduction

What are microdata?


Microdata are the units of data that aggregate statistics are compiled from. Microdata consist of sets of records containing information on individual respondents or business entities. To protect the anonymity of respondents (persons, organisations), the access to microdata is restricted.

 

Access to microdata


We grant access to our microdata for scientific purposes only.

 

New – with effect from 8th of July 2013 – To apply for access to Eurostat's microdata, your organisation must first be recognised by us as a research entity – a university, research institution or research department in public administration, bank, statistical institute etc.


Contracts and contract amendments on access to microdata signed before 8th of July 2013 will remain valid until they expire.

 

Applying for access
  • Step 1 – Apply to have your research organisation recognised as a research entity. You only need to do this once, no matter how many access requests you make subsequently (the procedure takes around 4 weeks)
  • Step 2 – Apply for access to microdata. Once we have recognised your organisation as a research entity, you can apply for access by submitting a research proposal (the procedure takes around 8-10 weeks)
How are data provided?


Depending on the access type(s) of your choice, we will:

  • send your principal researcher files containing anonymised data (scientific-use files) on electronic devices (CD-Rom, DVD, etc.) and/or
  • authorise your organisation to access non-anonymised data (secure-use files) in Eurostat's "safe centre”.

Access to microdata is only valid for the period specified in the research proposal. At the end of that period, you must:

  • destroy any original scientific-use files sent by Eurostat and any confidential data derived from the files, and
  • send Eurostat your research results.


 How to apply for microdata access? 
 

Detailed access procedure
Legislation
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Last update 20.09.2013