Social Indicators Research Centre (ZSi)

SIMon - Social Indicators Monitor

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How to use SIMon

SIMon is an online information system and allows comfortable access to the time series data from two systems of social indicators developed and maintained by the Social Indicators Research Centre of GESIS:

The European System of Social Indicators (European data) is an instrument to be used to continuously monitor and analyze the individual and societal well-being of European citizens in terms of quality of life, social cohesion and sustainability as well as changes in the social structure of European societies. The European System of Social Indicators covers the current EU-27 member states, Norway and Switzerland as well as Japan and the United States as two major reference societies. At present there are time series data available for roughly 650 indicators from 9 out of the projected 13 life-domains. Selected key indicators address dimensions of well-being and social change which are considered particularly important. Time series start at the beginning of the 1980s. Most of the indicators time series are broken down by various socio-demographic variables. Also regional disaggregations at the NUTS-1-level are available whenever possible and meaningful. The European System of Social Indicators is based on data sources ensuring the best possible level of comparability across countries and time. The data sources used include international aggregate official statistics as well as microdata from various official as well as science based cross-national surveys. The European System of Social Indicators may be used for all kinds of comparative research on quality of life, social cohesion, sustainability, social structures and value orientations within and across the countries covered. As a tool to monitor progress in terms of individual and societal well-being as well as general social change across European societies, it may also be used for policy making purposes (more information).

The German System of Social Indicators (German data) is an instrument that has been developed with a view to monitor well-being - in terms of objective living conditions as well as subjective quality of life - and social change in Germany. Covering 14 life domains, the System includes almost 400 indicators with a total of more than 3000 time series. Among the total number of indicators ca. 90 have been selected as "key indicators". The period of observation starts at the beginning of the 1950's and covers the entire time span up to the present day, as far as data availability allows. Until the end of the 1980s most of the data are available for West Germany only, after the German reunification also for East Germany and Germany as a whole. Since most of the times series data are disaggregated according to various socio-demographic characteristics, the indicator system also offers information on the social situation of specific subgroups of the population as well as on the inequality of living conditions in general.

More on the 'German System of Social Indicators' (140 KB)

The Social Indicators Monitor - SIMon

  • allows to browse and select indicators according to users‘ needs (hierarchical and geographical data selection modes)
  • allows to visualize and display data as charts (e.g. line chart, bar chart, scatterplot, boxplot), maps and tables
  • provides tools for table manipulation and basic data analysis
  • allows to print and export data and charts in different formats (PDF, Excel-Tables, JPG, HTML) to be used in other applications
  • provides efficient search and help functions
  • allows bilingual utilization (English, German) for the German Indicator System

In order to take full advantage of the functionality of SIMon, users are kindly requested to register (free of charge).


How to use SIMon?

Watch our guided tours (Video 1 (3:40 min), Video 2 (5:10 min) and Video 3 (4:25 min)), demonstrating the different features of SIMon.

Presentation: Social Indicators Monitor - Simon

Please make sure to use SIMon with a modern and up-to-date browser (e.g. at least Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3, Safari 4, Chrome 4 as of mid 2010). An unrestricted and stable internet connection is required to get a proper usage experience as a lot of client-server-communication is taking place in the background. Especially firewalls and virus/malware protection software being adjusted very strictly may slow down or inhibit a regular SIMon usage. You should also make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser and that an up-to-date version of the Flash plugin for your browser is installed and working without problems.

The current version of SIMon has been tested extensively. Please inform us though in case that you should encounter any problems or errors.