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Study: MZ 2017

Additional Programs

  • Additional Programs
    • Questions on health and smoking habits (Sampling Fraction: 1% )
    • Additional information on economic activity (I) (shift work) (Sampling Fraction: 1% )
  • Ad-hoc-module EU Labour Force Survey
    • self-employment (Sampling Fraction: 0.1% )

Specific Features

Changes In Questionnaire

Due to the redesign of the new Microcensus law in effect as of 2017, quite extensive changes occurred. Information on the changes in the 2017 Microcensus compared with the 2016 Microcensus (or 2013 for the additional programs) can be found in both the Readme and the Data Manual. The variables-over-time matrix in MISSY gives additional guidance on the comparability over time of variables in the Microcensus as of 1973.

Methodical Notes

After the change in subsampling starting with the SUF 2012 and with the provision of longitudinal consistent status numbers, it is possible to merge the cross-sectional data up to and including the SUF 2015. The cross-sectional data of the 2016 SUF can be merged with the cross-sectional data of the SUFs up to and including 2019. To make longitudinal analyses easier, the following identifiers are included since 2015: idpers (longitudinal personal identifier), idhh (longitudinal household identifier), idhhx (cross-sectional household identifier).

In order to improve the measurement of the labour force concept of the International Labor Organization (ILO), a number of questions have undergone changes. Although no significant changes have taken place since 2011, some deviations between the results of the Microcensus and other labour market statistics are still to be found in 2017. This applies, for example, to small and marginal jobs. In particular, changes due to methodological factors must be taken into account when comparing with previous surveys of the Microcensus (see Körner/Puch 2009; Körner/Marder-Puch 2015).

Changes In Typification

A number of typifications are no longer included to simplify data preparation in 2015. The report "Einführung in die eigenständige Erstellung von Typisierungen am Beispiel des Mikrozensus Scientific Use Files 2014" (Börlin 2020) shows how these typifications can be created using the data available in the data, using the example of the Microcensus SUF 2014.


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). With the help of a special code of the variable community size class, it is possible to distinguish between West and East Berlin (EF563 = 9 Berlin-East).

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.

The SUF is a de-facto anonymised 70% sample. Until 2011, the sampling units were households or apartments where all persons in a selected household or apartment were included in the subsample. From 2012 onwards, the sampling districts within a rotational quarter will be used as sampling units for the subsample. This, together with longitudinal consistent identifiers, makes it possible to generate panel data sets with the Scientific Use Files.

Year Specific Documentation

Statistisches Bundesamt / GESIS (2021): Wichtige Informationen zur Nutzung des Mikrozensus Scientific Use Files 2017.

This document contains the information on this website as well as further details on the Microcensus SUF 2017.

Target Sample Size

Cross-sectional Data
Sampling Units Districts
Achieved Sample Size 584594


Units Of Observation

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

Units Of Analysis

  • Persons
  • Living arrangements
  • Families
  • Households
  • Dwellings

Data Collection

Date of Data Collection

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2017

Participation Mandatory


Interview Mode - Description

As a rule, interviews are conducted decentrally by the state statistical offices face-to-face with interviewers equipped with laptops (CAPI), partly also as paper-pencil surveys or via telephone.
Proxy interviews are also permitted, i.e. an adult member of the household may answer on behalf of other members of the household.


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%; this applies to all sampling units (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 (compensation) the net sample of the successfully interviewed households is adjusted to the gross sample of all households to be interviewed. In a second step (adjustment) this gross sample is benchmarked to the update of the current population figures. The final weights of the Microcensus result from a combination of this two-stage procedure of compensation and adjustment.

The SUF contains extrapolation variables that extrapolate to 1,000 of the population. To achieve an improved fit of the distributions of the SUF to the published results, the creation of the extrapolation variables in the SUF is based on the extrapolation factors in the original file. EF951, EF952 and EF956 are calculated using a calibration procedure. However, only Germans/foreigners are distinguished and federal states are considered as the only regional unit. Furthermore, EF952 is not the arithmetic mean of the quarterly extrapolation factors (EF951). The benchmarks for the adjustment are obtained from the extrapolated values of the microcensus. The extrapolation factor for disability (EF957) is calculated using the same procedure as in the original file.