Microdata: Conducting your own research

 Microdata are linkable data at the level of individuals, companies and addresses which can be made available to Dutch universities, scientific organisations, planning agencies and statistical authorities within the EU under strict conditions for statistical research. The guiding principle here is safeguarding privacy and preventing disclosure of persons or companies.

How it works

To gain access, a number of steps must be completed which are outlined briefly below. A more detailed explanation of these steps can be found in the top right corner.

working with cbs microdata 

You can analyse the CBS microdata via a secure internet connection. To do so, you will receive a personal token on loan. You will only have access to the data which are needed for your research. It is also possible to upload external datasets and link these with CBS microdata. We will provide you with a secure working environment in which you can store draft versions, syntaxes and output. All the microdata will remain within this secure CBS environment. If you wish to export results from the secure environment, CBS will check whether your results do not contain any disclosure risk. More details can be found in our output guidelines.

The fees which apply to microdata research depend on the number of participating researchers, the number of dataset topics and the duration of the project, among others. For more information, go to our service catalogue.

Changes policy remote access

At the request of CBS, a committee of independent scientific experts conducted research into access to CBS data files via remote access. The main conclusion was that the access complies with current security and privacy requirements. In addition, the committee provided guidelines to safeguard this for the coming years. This has led to some tightening of the policy on access to and use of CBS data files as of 1 August 2021. For more information, see our news item: 'CBS tightens criteria for remote access to CBS databases' and the Government Gazette (Dutch). Do you have questions? Please contact us.

More information

The steps required to get started with the microdata are listed in the flow chart and are further elaborated under the descriptions on the right. If you are considering using CBS Microdata Services, it is in most cases, and certainly for new users, strongly recommended that you first contact one of the account managers to discuss your ideas and wishes.