German Social Cohesion Panel (SCP)


  • Title: German Social Cohesion Panel (SCP)
  • Authors: Olaf Groh-Samberg, Carina Cornesse, Jean-Yves Gerlitz, Martin Kroh, Holger Lengfeld, Stefan Liebig, Lara Minkus, Jost Reinecke, David Richter, Richard Traunmüller, Sabine Zinn
  • Publications using these data should cite the DOI (doi:10.60532/scp.2021.ap.v1) and include the following reference: Groh-Samberg, O., Cornesse, C., Gerlitz, J.-Y., Kroh, M., Lengfeld, H., Liebig, S., Minkus, L., Reinecke, J., Richter, D., Traunmüller, R., & Zinn, S. (2023). German Social Cohesion Panel 2021 – Anchor Persons. Dataset and Documentation. doi:10.60532/scp.2021.ap.v1

Study Info

The SCP is a self-administered longitudinal study in a mixed-mode design (PAPI and CAWI), jointly designed by the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC) and the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), and implemented by the survey institute infas. The aim of the study is to capture the diversity of social cohesion from multiple perspectives, particularly regarding the question of whether and how social cohesion changes over time. The annual surveys, which were carried out for the first time in 2021, are based on a representative population sample.


A large sample of individuals was drawn from the German population registers. For the recruitment of the SCP, a two-stage random sampling process was applied, drawing a total of 37,874 anchor persons from 299 German population registers. In general, the selection of anchor persons was conducted proportional-to-size within the primary sampling units. However, households in the Eastern German states were oversampled (i.e. drawn proportionally higher than their share of the total population) to facilitate group comparisons.

The selected individuals (referred to as “anchor persons” or AP) were contacted by mail and invited to participate in the regular surveys of the SCP. The mailing included a brief invitation letter, a brochure with all the study information, a detailed data protection sheet, a 5-Euro note as an unconditional incentive to participate, and a paper questionnaire with a pre-paid return envelope for the initial survey. In addition to the paper questionnaire, the invitation letter indicated the option to participate in the survey online (via a survey link or a QR code).

Anchor persons were also asked to provide the names of all other household members aged 18 and above. Subsequently, all the additional household members aged 18 and above (referred to as “household members" or HM) mentioned by the anchor persons were invited to participate in the study. They received the same study materials as the anchor persons, but were provided with a slightly shorter questionnaire and no pre- incentive. After data collection, all participants of the initial recruitment survey (AP and HM) received a cash reward of 10 Euros by mail as a token of appreciation.

Data access

The data can be ordered by all postdoctoral researchers affiliated with a scientific institution at the Research Data Centre of the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RDC-RISC). For that purpose, researchers can register at The data are provided solely for scientific purposes.

Other material and Notes

More detailed documentation is available online.

  • Name: scp
  • Label: German Social Cohesion Panel (SCP)
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German Socio-economic Panel (SOEP)