EU to implement EU-SILC regulation

The European Commission have issued, on 31st March 2008, their official report to the European Parliment and council on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1177/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16th June 2003.

The annual EU funding of the project has been ensured through grant agreements concluded with NSIs. In total, EU funding amounted to around €6.5m for the 2004 data collection and around €11m for the 2005-2007 data collections respectively.

Overall the collection of SILC data has been a success. Eurostat, together with the network of the National Statistical Institutes (NSIs), has been able to collect, check and issue these data within reasonable periods of time. However, there is a significant gap of 2 years between the reference year of the collected data and the latest available economic data.

What is EU-SILC?

EU-SILC is a multi-dimensional instrument focusing on income, but at the same time covering housing, labour, health, demography and education, thus making it possible to study the multidimensional approach of social exclusion. It comprises primary (annual) and secondary (module) target variables. These primary target variables are either household information or individual information (for persons aged 16 and more) and are grouped into areas:

At household level, five areas are covered

  1. basic/core data,
  2. income,
  3. housing,
  4. social exclusion,
  5. labour information.

The personal level is grouped into five areas

  1. basic/demographic data,
  2. income,
  3. education,
  4. labour information and
  5. health. Childcare information is also collected for children under 12 years of age.

The secondary target variables (modules) are introduced annually from 2005 in the cross-sectional component of the instrument only. The first EU-SILC modules relate to the following:

  • 2005: Inter-generational transmission of poverty
  • 2006: Social participation
  • 2007: Housing conditions
  • 2008: Over-indebtedness/Financial exclusion
  • 2009: Material deprivation


Since the adoption of Regulation N° 1177/2003, SILC has become the source of reference data for statistics on income distribution, poverty and social exclusion analysis at EU level, and these data have been used in the context of the 'structural indicators' and World Trade Organization (WTO) exercises. The legal framework has been developed and an adequate EU funding has been guaranteed for the first four years of data collection in each country. The collection and dissemination in the form of tables and micro-data to researchers of the SILC cross-sectional data is under control although there is still margin for progress in terms of timeliness. The longitudinal component of EU-SILC is in the initial stages and will not be fully operational until 2010.