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Demographic and Regional Standards

Both the Demographic and the Regional Standards were set up at the initiative of joint working groups consisting of representatives from the Federal Statistical Office, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sozialwissenschaftlicher Institute e. V. (ASI) and the ADM Arbeitskreis Deutscher Markt- und Sozialforschungsinstitute e. V.

The purpose of the Demographic Standards is to achieve harmonisation of the socio-structural variables in population surveys (surveys of households or individuals) in order to improve comparability between the results of various surveys. The current 5th edition of the publication is the result of complete revision and adjustment to the prevailing social environment. The volume contains explanatory notes for both national and international use. The revised version includes, among other things, a new chapter which explains the differences between the Demographic Standards and the Core Social Variables. The latter come as a list of core variables, which the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) intends to introduce in all European surveys of households or individuals. In addition, tools such as questionnaires for further use and conversion keys for the coding of occupations are provided.

The Regional Standards are designed to consider, in a comparable form, the regional context of surveys at different regional levels. In that context, existing tools such as the municipality types defined on the basis of the settlement structure by the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) and the BIK region size classes (BIK ASCHPURWIS + BEHRENS) and also various procedures to describe living quarters or social spaces are used.

Regarding both the Demographic and the Regional Standards, results of special microcensus evaluations are in place for periods beginning with 2007. Those evaluations into which the most recent data are incorporated on an annual basis are made for various groups of the population and different types of households. The variables of the Demographic Standards are listed in the table stub, while selected regional units (east-west breakdown, Länder, municipality size classes, Eurostat urban-rural typology, BBSR types of administrative districts defined on the basis of the settlement structure and BIK region size classes (10-level classification) are shown in the column head. The tables present data for the population living in households at their main residence. Indices which can be derived from the variables of the Demographic Standards like the socio-economic status and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 1997) are not taken into account.

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