MetaSILC 2015

MetaSILC 2015 is both a report and a database that contains detailed information on the income variables in EU-SILC, the main source for statistics on income and living conditions in Europe, with a focus on the 2015 wave. It has been compiled by Lorena Zardo Trindade and myself, with the help of some other colleagues at the Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy (University of Antwerp), and input from National Statistical Institutes across Europe and Eurostat. Apart from documenting the contents and comparability of the EU-SILC income variables, it has resulted in numerous adjustments to EU-SILC, implemented by National Statistical Institutes (as documented in our working paper).

The MetaSILC 2015 Database is put together in excel, and provides detailed information by income component and target variable for 26 EU-SILC countries. An income component should be understood as a specific source of income, which typically is much more disaggregated than an income target variable. For each of the income components, the database contains the official name (national language) and code in the national EU-SILC survey; the equivalent name in English; the target variable code and name; the source of the income information used (register data, questionnaire, imputation); the level of aggregation when it was collected; information on gross-net conversion; whether there were important changes between wave 2010 and wave 2015 and if there are important changes planned for future waves. In addition, the database contains further information on imputed rent, the variable on company cars and self-employment income, as well as procedures for outlier detection and treatment.

The MetaSILC 2015 Report can be downloaded here. It provides a detailed overview by variable, with information on the implementation of the income variables in each country and an assessment of compliance with Eurostat guidelines and implications for comparability across countries.

The working paper summarizes the main findings and formulates recommendations for improving the comparability of the income variables in the future. It also provides an overview of the changes implemented by National Statistical Institutes in response to our review.

Please cite our work as follows:

Paper: Zardo Trindade, L. and Goedemé, T. (2020), The comparability of the EU-SILC income variables: review and recommendations, Statistical Working Paper Series, 2020 Edition, Eurostat, Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union.

Report: Goedemé, T. and Zardo Trindade, L. (eds.) (2020). MetaSILC 2015: A report on the contents and comparability of the EU-SILC income variables, INET Working Paper 2020-1 & CSB Working Paper WP 20/01. Oxford: Institute for New Economic Thinking, University of Oxford & Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

Database: Goedemé, T. and Zardo Trindade, L. (2020). MetaSILC 2015: A database on the contents and comparability of the EU-SILC income variables [Data file], Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp & Oxford: Institute for New Economic Thinking, University of Oxford, doi: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/TLSZ4S.

We are grateful for financial and practical support by Eurostat, and the Third Network for the Analysis of EU-SILC (Net-SILC 3).


Please note there are other resources that may also help to identify the composition of the EU-SILC income variables. See in particular: