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Series: AES


Title Adult Education Survey


"The Adult Education Survey (AES) is part of the EU statistics on lifelong learning. The survey covers participation in education and training (formal, non-formal and informal learning). The reference period for the participation in education and training is the twelve months prior to the interview. The survey focuses on people aged 25-64 living in private households." (
"The survey is carried out every five years. The first wave was conducted between 2005 and 2008 as a pilot survey. Besides detailed information on educational activities the data include comprehensive sociodemographic information such as education, employment and household characteristics." (

Data Version

Data Publisher

  • Eurostat


  • Labour and Employment
    • Employment
    • In-job Training
  • Education
    • Basic Skills Education
    • Life-long / continuing Education
    • Post-compulsory Education
    • Vocational Education


Geographical Coverage

AES 2007:
"The first AES was carried out on a voluntary basis by 29 countries in the EU, EFTA and candidate countries between 2005 and 2008. The participating countries were: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom as well as Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
Ireland, Iceland and Luxembourg did not take part in the pilot survey." (

AES 2011:
"30 countries implemented the second AES survey: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom as well as Norway, Switzerland and Serbia." (


Eurostat developed a model questionnaire and a manual with guidelines in order to facilitate countries in the implementation of the survey. National statistical institutes then translated these questionnaires and carried out the survey in their country, usually as a stand-alone survey, in some cases as a part or module of a larger survey.


The target population are individuals aged 25-64 (Member States can widen this age band), permanently living in the relevant country. Residents of collective households or institutions (such as old people’s homes, prisons etc.) are excluded.


No specific requirements for sampling were made however criteria were specified in regards to precision. Sampling was to consider gender as well as three age groups: 25-34, 35-49 and 50-64.

Data Collection

"The first wave of the survey, 2007 AES (also called ‘pilot survey') was carried out between 2005 and 2008 in 29 countries, either Member States of the European Union, candidate countries or countries of the European Free Trade Area. This pilot exercise was set up within a common EU framework including a standard questionnaire, tools and quality reporting. The reference year was set at 2007." (

"After the first pilot exercise, the Adult Education Survey is run under a legal basis: Framework Regulation (EC) 452/2008, which makes it a compulsory European survey. Therefore the second AES data colletion, 2011 AES took place between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012. It was the first to be run under the Framework Regulation and it was implemented by the Commission Regulation (EC) 823/2010." (


Legal Basis

Data Access

Access Conditions

The current legal framework enables access to anonymised microdata available at Eurostat only for scientific purposes (Commission Regulations (EU) 557/2013; (EC) No 1104/2006; (EC) No 1000/2007; Council Regulation 322/97), however the access is restricted to universities, research institutes, national statistical institutes, central banks inside the EU, as well as to the European Central Bank. Individuals cannot be granted direct data access.

Access Form

Access Contact

Data Service

German Microdata Lab (GML), GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Person to contact: Jeanette Bohr (


Comparability between Countries

Eurostat prepared a model questionaire and a manual which was largely followed by most countries. Thus there is a high degree of comparability in the survey instrument. However considerable heterogeneity is observed in regards to non-formal education and thus the concept might not be as readily comparable as formal education.