The sample survey within the programme of the European Union – Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)
Average annual net income of a Czech household reached CZK 209.8 thousand per person in 2019, which is by 7.5% more compared to 2018 when it was CZK 195.1 thousand. The monthly average thus was CZK 17 479 in 2019. Due to the increasing income, the threshold from which the at-risk-of-poverty rate is derived has also increased. It differs depending on individual type of household. For example, for an individual it was CZK 13 640 and for parents with two small children it was CZK 28 644 per household and month. The percentage of persons who occurred below the mentioned income threshold decreased from 10.1% to 9.5% in 2020. How do we know that? Because it was you who told us so!
About the survey
The Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) has been conducting the Living Conditions sample survey already since 2005. It is a national version of the pan-European EU-SILC survey (European Union – Statistics on Income and Living Conditions), which is carried out in all of the 27 Member States of the EU and also in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Iceland.
The basic purpose of the survey is to map current quality of life of households in Czechia, their socio-demographic structure, the way, quality, and financial demand factor of housing, and also labour, material, and health conditions of persons living in households. It also surveys the amount and structure of their income and informs about the proportion of the population that lives in a certain material deprivation, or rather the share of the population at-risk-of-poverty and social exclusion. Such comprehensive information cannot be derived from any administrative data source, yet. Therefore, the only way to find out such information is to obtain it by means of directly asking households.
What do the results serve for?
Living conditions of households and their members reflect the overall socio-economic situation of the country. Besides other macroeconomic indicators, especially the gross domestic product, they create basis for assessment of the economic development of Czechia. On the national level, the results serve as a basis for setting of social policy of the country and for analysing the influence of this policy on living conditions of Czech households, mainly in relation to the level of being “at-risk-of-poverty”. An objective of no less importance is obtaining of data that provide both useful information for directing of the country’s policy in the area of the pension, benefit, and tax schemes, etc., and also for assessing of impacts of adopted measures. Thanks to a unified survey methodology, it is possible to compare results for Czechia with results for other European countries, or with an average for the European Union.
How does the survey take place?
Finding out data in the field is taking place every year, usually from February to June; it is carried out by interviewers who are specially trained for that. In 2021, the survey was conducted in the territory of the whole Czechia in approximately 11.3 thousand households, of which 4 750 households were addressed for the first time. All households were included in the survey based on random sampling. All persons who had their place of usual residence in a selected dwelling (flat) were included in the survey.
The sampling of respondents takes place in two phases in Czech conditions. In the first phase, enumeration districts are randomly selected from the so-called Register of Enumeration Districts and Buildings; they are the smallest existing territorial units of the Czech Republic (CR; identification by enumeration district is used, for example, during elections).
From each enumeration district selected that way, 10 dwellings (flats) are then randomly selected in the second phase; they are unambiguously identified by a precise address, i.e. the street name and a descriptive number. As regards multi-dwelling buildings, they are identified, moreover, by a number of the dwelling (flat) or an order of the dwelling (flat) in the building. All Regions are included in the sample so that the survey covers the whole territory of the CR; the sample size for a Region depends on the population size of the given Region.
The survey is carried out by interviewers who are specially trained for that purpose; they visit selected dwellings (flats) and find out data on all persons usually resident at the given address during the time of the survey, irrespective of their permanent residence. These persons comprise so-called private households; a dwelling unit may consist of multiple private households.
When addressing a selected household, interviewers present their interviewer card which, in a combination with a service card of the CZSO or with an ID card authorises them to carry out the Living Conditions survey.
Besides information on a dwelling (flat) and private households, data on all individual household members who attained the age of 16+ years by the end of the last calendar year are also surveyed.
The survey is designed as a four-year rotation panel, which means that households participate in the survey for four successive years. Every year, about a quarter of the sample is replaced so that households for which their four-year cycle of surveys finished are replaced by households from newly selected dwellings (flats). Following selected households in the longer term makes it possible to observe changes and development of their quality of life.
Participation of households in sample surveys is voluntary and therefore respondents are free to refuse their participation in the survey. As their major reasons for a refusal to participate in the survey households mention their reservations regarding invasion of privacy, concerns about possible misuse of provided information, concerns about letting a foreign person into their dwelling (flat) or the lack of time. Some households also refuse to provide any piece of information about them as a matter of principal.
Among reasons why the survey did not take place were also the following ones: repeated inability to reach household members or incapability of household members to participate in the survey (e.g. due to health reasons, high age, language barrier). The highest proportion of non-surveyed households is usually in the first wave of the survey. The total response rate is about 80%.
Where can you find the survey results?
Detailed processed data from the Living Conditions survey (EU-SILC) are available on web pages of the CZSO in publications in the Statistics section and the “Living Standards, Household Consumption” sub-section. A yearly publication called Household Income and Living Conditions – 2020 contains methodological notes and tables on both households and persons broken down by social group, the amount of income, the number of children and working members, economic activity, territory, and other indicators.
Data confidentiality and protection
Information that you tell the interviewer is strictly anonymous. The CZSO fully respects the European legal framework for personal data protection (GDPR) and acts in compliance with it. Moreover, all employees of the CZSO are sworn to secrecy about all surveyed facts pursuant to the Act No 89/1995 Sb, on the State Statistical Service. No piece of information that would identify interviewed respondents enters the processing itself. Information from the survey is published solely in the form of statistical summaries.
Detailed information on personal data processing can be found at: