Frequently Asked Questions

Information on how to get access to LISS data can be found at the Access Data page.

Any variable from any LISS study that is published in the LISS Panel Data Archive can be merged (in STATA or SPSS) by using nomem_encr as the key variable. Another way to do this is to create a variable basket, which generates a file where the variables in the basket are merged on the basis of nomem_encr.

Every researcher or policy maker can use the LISS panel (or Immigrant panel up until December 2014) in paid assignment. Please contact head of Department Survey Research, Boukje Cuelenaere, for further information.

You can easily compare the questions of your questionnaire with those in the LISS Panel Data Archive by typing keywords in the search engine of the Data Archive.

We disseminate these variables separately from other survey questions. You can find them in the Background Variables of the LISS panel and Immigrant panel.

On how to use LISS data using CBS microdata (Dutch): CBS Microdata

We do not deliver weights for LISS data, for the moment. The reason is twofold.  Firstly, for panel data there are several possible target populations to weight to (for example: the population at the present, the population at the time of the start of the panel, or weights to compensate attrition or nonresponse).  See LISS panel background variables.
Secondly, due to the way the LISS panel is used, there are also different possible variables to take into the weights. The choice of weighting variables is strongly dependent on the topic and purpose of a specific study (and hence different every month, in the case of the LISS panel). Hence, there is no single, standard way to construct weighting variables for LISS data. We can calculate them à la carte, in which case you would have to indicate in detail for which variables you would like to weight and to which target population. For this calculation we charge a fee.
It is always possible to calculate sample weights yourself, using population statistics from Statistics Netherlands (see We closely monitor the composition of the LISS panel and recruit refreshment samples regularly. In combination with the fact that the panel is based on a true probability sample, this should assure the representativity of the panel.
Note: A working paper of Lynn and Kaminska (ISER, University of Essex, UK), titled: “Criteria for developing non-response weight adjustments for secondary users of complex longitudinal surveys”, describes the complexity of constructing weights in panel studies. You can obtain the paper from the authors or by contacting

We do not disseminate postal and/or municipality code at the individual level, because of privacy reasons/identification risk of our respondents. We only disseminate the variable “sted”, which measures the urban character of a respondent’s place of residence. Special requests can be made to create a custom urbanization variable, which has to be of categorical nature. This is not cost-free.

The variable "herkomstgroep" measures ethnicity in several broad categories. It is part of the Background Variables of the LISS panel and Immigrant panel. The core study Religion and Ethnicity also includes several indicators of ethnic background. A more detailed ethnicity variable, "herkomstland", is only available for the Immigrant panel in the Background Variables. It is published from September 2011 up until December 2014. We do not provide more detailed information about the ethnicity of the respondents because of privacy reasons/identification risk.

A guideline on how to cite LISS data can be found at References LISS. We appreciate it if you incorporate all your publications that use LISS data in our LISS Panel Data Archive, or send Priscilla Zhang an email so we can do it for you.  


During the recruitment of the panel, respondents who agree to participate in the panel receive a confirmation email, and a letter with login code. With the login code provided they can confirm their willingness to participate and immediately start the first questionnaire, which is a general starter questionnaire for new panel members. At the end of this questionnaire, respondents are asked to read and agree to the LISS informed consent. They can confirm their agreement by ticking a checkbox. Only when respondents agree to the LISS informed consent they can become a LISS panel member. This confirmation and informed consent procedure, following the consent to participate given to the interviewer, ensures the double consent of each respondent to become a panel member and participate in the monthly panel questionnaires.

It has to be noted that ethics approvals for questionnaire research among adults are not required by law in the Netherlands. An exception is medical scientific research, which requires a medical ethical approval (according to the Dutch WMO). In general, Centerdata abides by the European "General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)" ("Algemene verordening gegevensbescherming", AVG).