Go to main content

Research Data Centre of the German Centre of Gerontology (FDZ-DZA)

Logo DZA

The FDZ-DZA is the research data centre of the German Centre of Gerontology (Deutsches Zentrum für Altersfragen, DZA). Its main task is to make the de facto anonymised data from the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) and the German Survey on Volunteering (FWS) available to researchers free-of-charge and user-friendly for non-commercial purposes and secondary analyses. Moreover, it provides users with data documentation as well as support services.

  • Status: Accredited
  • Data Offer: Economy, Education, Health, Psychology, Social
  • External Data Ingest: No

German Ageing Survey (DEAS)

Founded in 1996, the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) is a survey program that examines the social status, economic status, and health status of people in mid- and older adulthood. It is run by the German Centre of Gerontology (DZA) and funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). Respondents aged 40 and above are repeatedly interviewed on their objective and subjective living conditions. In addition, the survey also includes tests of cognitive abilities and physical health.

The panel design of DEAS combines repeated cross-sectional surveys with individual longitudinal surveys. Currently available data includes the years 1996 (n=4.838), 2002 (n=5.194), 2008 (n=8.196), 2011 (n=4.854), 2014 (n=10.324), 2017 (n=6.626), 2020 (n=4.823) and 2020/2021 (n=5.402). . They facilitate the cross-sectional analysis of life situations, analysis of social change and the analysis of individual ageing processes.

Due to its cohort-sequential longitudinal design, broad thematic spectrum, national representativity, comparatively high number of cases and a long observation period, DEAS is a unique data source for interdisciplinary research on life situations and trajectories as well as on the subjective perception and life plans of ageing and older people.

German Survey on Volunteering (FWS)

The German Survey on Volunteering (FWS) is a social science survey programme with a focus on voluntary activities and civic participation of the German population aged 14 and older. The survey is funded by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). Five representative surveys, which were conducted in 1999 (n=14922), 2004 (n=15000), 2009 (n=20005), 2014 (n=28690) and 2019 (n=27.762), have collected data on scope, potencial, content and organisational embeddedness of voluntary work and other civil activities. The German Centre of Gerontology has been responsible for the survey’s scientific management since December 2011. The FWS is crucial for the social impact assessment of voluntary work in Germany and offers a great potential for scientific data analysis.

Data Access

The DZA’s research data centre FDZ-DZA provides free-of-charge access to the de facto anonymised and user-friendly microdata of all the completed waves of the DEAS and FWS in form of scientific use files and extensive documentation for research and teaching purposes. In addition, it is possible to analyse more detailed data, which is enriched with neighborhood and regional indices, at a secure on-site work station at the DZA. For data protection reasons, it is required to sign a data distribution contract before obtaining the data. The application form is available online.

Available data

(as of June 2022)
Baseline survey and panel data survey of the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) in 1996, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017, 2020 and, 2020/2021.
Cross-sectional datasets of the German Survey on Volunteering (FWS) in 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019, trend dataset 1999-2019.


German Centre of Gerontology (DZA)
Research Data Centre (FDZ-DZA)
Manfred-von-Richthofen-Str. 2
12101 Berlin

E-Mail: fdz(at)dza.de

Phone: +49 30 260740-0