Statistics on income and living conditions 


Paru le :Paru le20/05/2024

The EU-SILC (European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) survey produces structural indicators on the distribution of income, poverty and exclusion that are comparable between the EU countries. It is part of the Community action programme to fight against social exclusion and it provides the statistical material for the European Commission's annual summary report on these issues. It also provides researchers with a micro-data base on income and living conditions, so that they can conduct European comparative studies on inequalities and the role of social and fiscal policies in redistribution.

The European regulation establishes a common framework for the systematic production of Community statistics on income and living conditions, encompassing cross-sectional and longitudinal data. This regulatory framework, which sets as a fundamental objective the availability of comparable statistics for all Member States, also includes the annual reporting on data quality and structural indicators.

The regulation provides for "primary" domains to be covered each year (socio-demographic characteristics of persons belonging to the households surveyed, details of income, financial situation, living conditions, work, housing, education, health, etc.) and "secondary" domains on specific topics that vary each year (housing conditions, children's health and living conditions, indebtedness, well-being, etc.), and are determined at European level. Some secondary modules are one-time, but most are rolling. The questionnaire generally includes a 3-year rolling smodule and a 6-year rolling module.

In 1994, EUROSTAT - the statistical office of the European Union - set up the ECHP: European Community Household Panel.

The aim was to study the income and the living conditions of different categories of households within the European Union.

The European Community Household Panel was carried out until 2001 and was, as its name indicates, a longitudinal panel survey: the individuals belonging to the initial sample were surveyed again each year, even if they moved.

In 2004, the "Statistics on Income and Living Conditions in the European Union" (SRCV / EU-SILC) took over from the Panel with a more ambitious objective.

The SILC instrument is governed by a 2003 European Regulation establishing the themes to be addressed to a greater degree of detail than previously with the European Panel and with a larger coverage in Europe.

The aim is to provide the European Community with a comparable database, updated each year, which serves as a reference for the knowledge of income, living conditions and social exclusion in the Member States.

In 2008, the French SRCV system was redesigned to reorganise the entire information system on living conditions around the SRCV system, including additional themes relating to living conditions initially present in the former EPCV surveys (permanent surveys on living conditions) and replacing the collection of part of the household resources by survey with administrative data.

To measure subjective well-being, it was decided to introduce, from 2010, questions on the subjective appreciation that individuals make of their life in general, as well as the appreciation for certain specific aspects (leisure, relations with relatives, housing, work) into the SRCV questionnaire.

In 2020, the SRCV system was again redesigned, driven by the prospect of the European Commission drafting a new regulation governing the implementation of household surveys, the IESS (Integrated European Social Statistics) regulation, which became effective in 2021.

The first objective of the redesign was to respond to the revision of European criteria in terms of data quality, accuracy and delivery times, in particular by shortening the panel's duration to 4 years. The redesign was also an opportunity to modernise and rationalise the production chain, from the questionnaire design (which was greatly simplified) to statistical processing, including the management of the data collected. Most of the processing was carried out in R.

In 2022, the scope of the survey was extended to the 4 historical Doms (Reunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana).

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