In this report, we document and analyse how individual income components are aggregated into the EU-SILC target variables. Even though general and country-specific descriptions of income target variables are available in the EU-SILC methodological guidelines and in the national quality reports, it is often not clear how exactly each of the national income components is classified and aggregated into a target variable in practice. On the basis of a survey among national statistical institutes, we compiled a database which maps the exact classification of income components into the EU-SILC target variables. The focus of the database is on EU-SILC 2015, covering 26 EU-SILC countries. The database contains information on the composition of variables on total income before and after transfers; income from benefits, work and capital; social contributions and taxes. For each component, we look at compliance with Eurostat guidelines, misclassifications and omitted income sources, all potentially undermining cross-national comparability. This report is accompanied by a paper which brings together the main findings regarding challenges for cross-country comparability and recommendations for improving further the quality and comparability of the EU-SILC income variables.

The MetaSILC 2015 database can be downloaded here: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/TLSZ4S


Goedemé, T. and Zardo Trindade, L. (eds.) (2020). MetaSILC 2015: A report on the contents and comparability of the EU-SILC income variables, INET Working Paper 2020-1 & CSB Working Paper WP 20/01. Oxford: Institute for New Economic Thinking, University of Oxford & Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
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