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Study: MZ 2012

Additional Programs

  • Biological number of children for all women aged 15 to 75 years (Sampling Fraction: 1% )
  • Commuting characteristics of employed persons, pupils and students (Sampling Fraction: 1% )

Ad-hoc-module EU Labour Force Survey

  • Transition from Working Life to Retirement (Sampling Fraction: 1% )

Changes In Questionnaire

  • Within the framework of the additional programmes the following variables in the 2012 Microcensus are new: commuting characteristics of employed persons, pupils and students (EF191-EF195; EF297-EF303) and biological number of children for all women aged 15 to 75 years (EF618-EF621, EF726, EF813).
  • New additions to the questionnaire include questions on the following topics: the type of training establishment (EF88, EF167); whether the highest vocational qualification was acquired in Germany or abroad (EF306); whether the respondent is a manager or supervisor (EF96, EF120, EF206); when successful job seekers will start their new jobs (EF234); and net monthly earnings (EF442).
  • In the context of employment and atypical employment, the following typologies are new: pupil, student or trainee/apprentice (EF543); core group of persons in employment (Kernerwerbstätige, i.e., persons aged 15–64 years who are not in education or training or doing voluntary service) (EF544); and types of employment (EF545, EF546).
  • From 2012 onwards, the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) structural variables (EF116u1-EF116u6, EF177, EF178, EF179u1-EF179u5), which were collected up to and including 2011 using a sampling fraction of only 0.1%, are surveryed with the full sampling fraction of 1%.
  • The topic of the 2012 EU-LFS ad-hoc module is “Transition from work into retirement”. The corresponding variables are EF1081-EF1108. The sampling fraction is 0.1%. Response to the questions is voluntary. Questions on this topic had already been asked in the 2006 EU-LFS ad-hoc module (see the variables EF1020-EF1030 in the 2006 Scientific Use File [SUF]). However, the variables are comparable only to a limited extent.

Methodological Notes

  • When constructing the weighting factor EF956 for the variables of the EU-LFS ad-hoc module, the regional level of the Nielsen areas was also used to estimate response probabilities. The target population comprises persons aged 50–69 years. The procedure used for the adjustment is the same as that used for the EU-LFS structural variables.
  • The questions asked in the computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) differ in part from the questions in the self-administered questionnaire. The documentation of the differences between the self-administered questionnaire and the Blaise program (Statistische Ämter des Bundes und der Länder 2014) clearly shows which questions are affected and where the differences lie.
  • For households from the Jahresüberhang [i.e., households who should have been interviewed in the previous year but who were not interviewed until the following year] who were interviewed using the questionnaire from the previous year, no data are available for the current four-year additional programme and for the questions asked for the first time in 2012. In the original data, this is covered only in part by the variable “Jahresüberhang from the previous year” (EF5b). In the Scientific Use File (SUF), the code used in such cases is the value -6 “Not applicable (Jahresüberhang with questionnaire from the previous year)” from variables of the additional programmes and questions or variables that are newly included in the survey programme. In the case of contradictory data in EF5b Jahresüberhang versus variables of the additional programme and new variables, the missing codes (-6) should therefore be taken into account when conducting analyses.

New Classifications

  • From 2012, occupational details are coded according to the new, 2010, edition of the German National Classification of Occupations (Klassifikation der Berufe, KldB 2010). Where necessary for data protection reasons, the occupational groups (3-digit code) are aggregated appropriately. In addition, for the last job and the current job, the requirement level (Anforderungsniveau) is shown in the fourth digit of the variables EF94 and EF114. If the criterion of anonymisation is not fulfilled, a value is assigned randomly while retaining the conditional distribution in the occupational group and, if necessary, aggregated. Flag variables (EF114_f*) provide information about possible random assignments. For the current job, the occupational details are also coded according to KldB 1992 (see EF119 and EF738a, EF826a and EF850a).


  • The regional details federal state (Bundesland) and a rough classification of the community size classes (Gemeindegrößenklassen) – the latter is not shown for the small federal states Bremen and Saarland – are included in the Scientific Use File (SUF). The other variables in the SUF are also coarsened if necessary, so that each value in the univariate distributions comprises at least 5,000 persons from the target population. The values of the variable nationality are aggregated in such a way that each group of nationalities in the target population comprises at least 50,000 inhabitants. In cases where variables are coarsened, the most strongly populated category is shown in the SUF

Year Specific Documentation

  • Statistisches Bundesamt / GESIS (2016): Wichtige Informationen zur Nutzung des Mikrozensus Scientific Use Files 2012. [.pdf].
    This document contains the information on this website as well as further details on the microcensus SUF 2012.
  • Statistisches Bundesamt (2016a): Anonymisierungskonzept zu den Berufsangaben der Klassifikation der Berufe 2010 ab den Mikrozensus Scientific Use Files 2012. Bonn. [.pdf]
  • Statistisches Bundesamt (2016b): Zum Umsteigeschlüssel von der Klassifikation der Berufe in der Ausgabe von 2010 zur internationalen Standardklassifikation der Berufe in der Ausgabe von 2008 in der Anwendung für den Mikrozensus. Bonn. [.pdf]
  • Imputationsverfahren zu den Geburtenangaben (Methodenpapier des Statistischen Bundesamtes) [.pdf].

Cross-sectional Data

Sampling Units


Achieved Sample Size


Units Of Observation

  • Persons (in private households and collective dwellings)
  • Households
  • Dwellings

Units Of Analysis

  • Persons
  • Living arrangements
  • Families
  • Households
  • Dwellings

Start Date


End Date


Participation Mandatory


Interview Mode

  • 69.7 % CAPI
  • 9.3 % CATI
  • 21 % Self-administered

Percentage Of Proxy Interviews

ca. 26 %

Design Weight: Target

Dwelling, Household, Persons

Design Weight: Method

The Microcensus is a single-stage, stratified cluster sample with a uniform sampling fraction for all strata. As a rule, the sampling fraction is 1 %; it applies to all sampling units (sampling districts, dwellings, households, persons).
Because the selection probability of the Scientific Use File (SUF) basically remains constant at 70%, design weights can be created on the basis of the inverse of the sampling fraction of the Microcensus (1 %) and the Scientific Use File (70 %): w = 1 / (0.01 * 0.7).

Final Weighting: Method

  • For the final weight a two-stage procedure is employed: In a first step the net sample of the successfully interviewed households is adjusted to the gross sample of all households to be interviewed (compensation). In a second step this gross sample is benchmarked to the update of the current population figures (adjustment). The final weights result from a combination of this two-stage procedure of compensation and adjustment. They are derived from the original data, are already multiplied with the inverse of the selection probability and extrapolated to 1000 of the population.
  • From the 2005 Microcensus onwards, the weighting factors in the original data are the same for all persons in a household. In the 2012 Scientific Use File (SUF), retrospective stratification by sex, age group, and labour force status was carried out for each federal state in order to achieve better adjustment to published microcensus results (see Statistisches Bundesamt/GESIS 2016). Hence, the weighing factors of the household members differ slightly.
  • In addition to existing weighting factors based on the German census results, (EF951-EF956), the SUF extrapolation factors, which use the old benchmark data derived from the current updating of the population based on the 1987 Census and the Bevölkerungsregister Statistik 1990 [statistics derived from the central population register of the GDR] respectively; EF951a-EF956a).
  • From 2005 onwards, in addition to the standard weighting factors for annual averages there are also weighting factors for the quarterly samples, for the ad hoc modules and structural variables of the EU-LFS. Moreover, there are special weighting factors for additional programmes of the Microcensus (e.g., on the housing situation).

  • For details, see “Zur Abgrenzung der Bevölkerungs- und Erwerbskonzepte im Mikrozensus 2012" [The demarcation of the population and labour force concepts in the 2012 Microcensus]. [.pdf] (in German)