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EU-SILC Income and living conditions

EU-SILC is a survey on living conditions in the European Union. Since 2003, households in Austria have also been taking part in the SILC survey. Among other things, they help to record living conditions, make poverty visible and monitor household income over the years.

The core contents of the SILC survey are:

  • Income
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Health status
  • Satisfaction

SILC is the abbreviation for Statistics on Income and Living Conditions.

What is the legal basis for SILC?

On the one hand, the legal basis for SILC are several EU-Regulations. This allows the results in the participating countries to be compared with each other. On the other hand, since August 2010, implementation has also been issued nationally by the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, with the Income and Living Conditions Statistics Regulation (ELStV, Federal Law Gazette (BGBl.) II No. 277/2010 as amended) (German only).

How will your data be protected?

All data is subject to absolute statistical confidentiality, data protection in accordance with the Federal Statistics Act and the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Act (German only). Personal information will only be used for statistical purposes and will not be passed on to third parties. Name and address are only required for contacting the participants and are stored in a database separate from the answers. They are deleted after the survey is completed. In addition, the analysis never shows the data of individual persons - only larger groups of people are considered (for e.g. women in retirement). Individual responses are therefore no longer recognizable in the results. You can find more detailed information on the protection of your data in the Data protection information for EU-SILC.

Is the survey mandatory by law?

There is no legal obligation to participate in the survey. Participation in EU-SILC is thus voluntary. That is why the households receive a small thank-you gift after completing the survey. High participation in the SILC survey is however extremely important to realistically show the living conditions in Austria, so that important subjects like poverty can be analyzed and effective social policy measures can be implemented. By participating, the households contribute to high data quality and actively shape the future of people in Austria.

How is one selected for the survey?

Out of time and financial reasons, it is not possible to survey all the people in Austria. That is why, a selection of around 6 000 households is made to represent the entire population of Austria as accurately as possible. For this purpose, the addresses are drawn from the Central Population Register (ZMR). The selection of households is purely random.

How does the survey work?

The survey (which takes about 25-45 minutes) takes place every year between February and July. All members of a household are interviewed individually. Children under 16 do not fill out the questionnaire themselves, this is done by the person who has the most knowledge about the children. In addition, the person who knows the most about the household completes the general household questionnaire.

Households participate in the survey once a year for four consecutive years. In this way, changes in living conditions can be observed and identified. In the first year, the survey is conducted by an interviewer who visits the household. The questionnaire is then filled out together with the interviewer on a laptop. In the following three years, the household can also choose to do the survey via telephone or online. In exceptional cases, the questionnaire can also be completed online or by telephone in the first survey year. After each of the four surveys, the household receives a small thank-you gift. After four years, the household's cooperation ends.

Who is conducting the survey?

The survey is conducted on behalf of the Federal Statistical Office of Austria (Statistics Austria). Statistics Austria produces high-quality statistics and analyses on the Austrian economy and society on behalf of the public sector. These figures form a reliable basis for political, administrative and business decision-making, as well as decisions taken by international institutions. Statistics Austria is an independent and non-profit-making federal institution committed to the Austrian public. Accuracy, impartiality, objectivity and relevance are the guiding principles for Statistics Austria's work. As Austria's leading information service provider, Statistics Austria collects the largest samples that allow for precise conclusions about social and economic life. Modern quality assurance instruments are used in the process.

Where will the results be published?

The latest results of the SILC survey for the core topic of poverty and household income are published in April each year. In addition, the SILC data are used for many other research projects, studies and reports.

Your household participates in the SILC survey for the first time? 

If your household was selected for SILC, you received a letter with the necessary information. Your interview will take place in person: An interviewer will contact you to schedule an appointment for the survey. The interviewer will come to your home on the agreed date and will fill in the SILC questionnaire on a laptop with each household member (16 years and older). The interviewers employed by Statistics Austria have an ID card with them, which guarantees that they are authorized to conduct the interviews.

If a household member is not at home, a new appointment will be made. If a household member is unable to answer by themselves due to illness, disability or language difficulties, another household member can provide information. An interview in English is also possible.

Your household had already participated in the SILC survey last year? 

Your household will participate for a total of four consecutive years. Starting with the second participation, your household can choose between a face-to-face, a telephone or an online interview. Statistics Austria tries to accommodate this request, but for organizational reasons cannot guarantee that every household will receive the preferred interview mode.

In the following years, the interview is similar to the first survey year, only a few questions differ. Please understand that your information is required even when nothing has changed in your case.

Your contact information has changed? 

If the home address, telephone number or e-mail address of your household or individual household members have changed, please let us know. Either by telephone +43 1 711 28-8338 (Mon-Fri 9 AM to 3 PM), e-mail ( or with this form (German only) by mail (STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Guglgasse 13, 1110 Wien).

Your household participates in the SILC survey by telephone? 

Starting in the second survey year, you can choose to be interviewed by telephone. Your household will again be contacted by an interviewer to make an appointment or to start the survey.

The survey will again be conducted with each individual household member (age 16 and older). Children under 16 are not required to complete the questionnaire themselves. This is done by the person who has the most knowledge about the children. In addition, the person who knows the most about the household fills out the general household questionnaire.

Your household participates in the SILC online survey? 

From the second survey year onwards, your household can also opt for an online survey. The access data is sent directly to the household by letter and is valid for all household members. You can access the questionnaire here:

The survey procedure is the same as in the previous year: Each household member aged 16 and over fills in their own questionnaire. Children under 16 do not have to fill out the questionnaire themselves. This is done by the person who has the most knowledge about the children. In addition, the person who knows the most about the household fills out the general household questionnaire.

You cannot find your access data? Please contact us at: or +43 1 711 28-8991 (Mon - Fri 9 AM to 3 PM)

Details, tips and filling-in assistance can be found in this document:

What will your household receive as a thank you for participating?

After completing all questionnaires, your household will receive a 20-euro shopping voucher per year. You can redeem this voucher in many stores and restaurants. Or you can decide to make a donation: Statistics Austria will forward 20 euros as a donation to the nature conservation project "Alpenmoore" for your participation. If you would like to learn more about the nature conservation project of Österreichische Bundesforste AG (Austrian Federal Forests), you will find detailed information in the project description (German only). You also have the option of appearing as a supporter by name. Just send your name by e-mail to: Your name will be published on the Austrian Federal Forests' project website.

Your household received a letter with registration information for the SILC online survey?

Here you will find important tips and assistance for completing the online questionnaire:

Your household received a letter for in-person or telephone SILC survey?

You do not need to do anything at the moment. An interviewer will call you to make an appointment with you.

What questions are asked in the SILC survey?

In SILC, only digital questionnaires are used, since due to the interview mode (personal visit by an interviewer with a laptop, telephone interview with an interviewer or independent participation with an online questionnaire) there is no need for a paper questionnaire. The following questionnaire is therefore only a template. All questions for the current survey year are listed in this template.

You can find all important information summarised here in German or English:

In-person survey Phone: +43 1 711 28-8338 Monday to Friday 9 AM to 3 PM
Telephone survey Phone: +43 1 711 28-7700 Monday to Friday 9 AM to 3 PM
Online Survey Phone: +43 1 711 28-8991 Monday to Friday 9 AM to 3 PM
Last updated on 2024-02-13.
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