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IAB-SOEP Migration Sample

Data source:

The IAB-SOEP Migration Sample is a household survey conducted jointly by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg and the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin. The first four waves of the survey were carried out from 2013 to 2016, where a direct interview was sought with 7217 persons.
Anchor persons have been drawn from administrative records in the Integrated Employment Biographies (IEB) of the IAB. Some countries of origin have been drawn with a higher probability to ensure a sufficient number of observations. These groups consist of immigrants from the EU-New Member States and Southern European countries.
The individuals have been interviewed with a personal and a household questionnaire. All family members aged 16 years or older were also asked the questions of the personal questionnaire.
The survey will be conducted annually, the questionnaires are similar to the survey “Living in Germany” from the SOEP at DIW Berlin


The IAB-SOEP Migration Sample provides a database which permits to gain new insights by addressing various aspects of immigration regarding activation and attraction of skilled immigrants and to provide clear guidance regarding immigration, integration and labour market policies in Germany. The database contains the following information: Migration history (Year of immigration, migration history, search behaviour and information channels, social Networks), Education history (highest obtained schooling and vocational degrees, years of schooling, education acquired at home and abroad, acknowledgement procedure of foreign credentials, language proficiency), Employment history (Employment, self-employment, unemployment in Germany and in foreign countries), Labour market background (Earnings, full- and part-time employment, working hours, benefit assistance, reservation wage, participation in active labour market policies), Return migration (Return migration intensions, return migration, limited survey of returned immigrants), Miscellaneous (Remittances to home countries, life satisfaction, risk preferences, social integration and acceptance).

Please find more detailed information on the dataset in the outline.

Information on the different versions of the data

The IAB-SOEP Migration Sample is available in two different versions:

  • IAB-SOEP Migration Sample: Survey Data (IAB-SOEP-MIG-Survey Data)
  • IAB-SOEP Migration Sample linked to administrative data of the IAB (IAB-SOEP-MIG-ADIAB)

IAB-SOEP-MIG-Survey Data contain the whole survey information for waves 1 to 4. (2013-2016).

IAB-SOEP-MIG-ADIAB makes it possible to analyze survey and administrative data for a part of the participants in the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample simultaneously (currently the first two waves are linked to the administrative data). The linked administrative data set contains both variables with individual characteristics and characteristics of the establishments the respondents work at. The administrative data cover the years 1975-2014. Thus, episodes which started or ended after the actual interview are included as well.

The IAB-SOEP-MIG-Survey Data can be downloaded by the applying institutions as a Scientific Use File (SUF). They are also contained in the SOEP data which can be ordered at the SOEP at DIW Berlin.
The IAB-SOEP-MIG-ADIAB may only be used during research visits (included remote data access).

IAB-SOEP-MIG-Survey Data: Dataset Descriptions and Questionnaires

Dataset descriptions

Questionnaires in German and English and as helping tool in Polish, Turkish, Rumanian und Russian.

Further information and working tools about the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample can be found at the SOEP at DIW Berlin.

IAB-SOEP-MIG-ADIAB: Dataset Descriptions and Frequencies

 FDZ Datenreport

 Frequencies and Labels

 FDZ-Datenreport 11/2016 (de)
 Auszählungen und Labels (de)
 Frequencies and labels (en)

Data Access

The IAB-SOEP Migration Sample is available via the following ways of access:

IAB-SOEP-MIG-Survey Data


Usually test data are available in order to allow for the preparation of programs to facilitate remote data access as well as on-site use. But there are currently no test data available for IAB-SOEP-MIG-ADIAB.
We recommend users to apply for the scientific use file IAB-SOEP Migration sample in order to prepare the analysis of the survey data. Further information on requesting a SUF.
Furthermore we recommend users to make use of the test data for the Sample of Integrated Labour Market Biographies in order to prepare the analysis of the administrative data. Although these data are based on a different sample, they contain the same variables. 

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