The longitudinal study “Private Households and their Finances” (PHF) is based on a survey of the income and wealth situation of private households in Germany.
Detailed information is collected on the structure of household assets and debt.
Other topics include intergenerational transfers of wealth as well as income and pension entitlements of all household members.
The survey is part of a larger survey project for the entire euro area, the so-called Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
Similar surveys are conducted in all euro area countries.
The survey data therefore allow internationally comparable analyses of the financial situation of households in the euro area countries.
The population of the PHF is private households in Germany.
The sample was drawn from population registers.
Since a population-proportional sampling approach would have included relatively few wealthy households, a disproportional sample was drawn in which wealthy households are overrepresented.
The PHF is designed as a panel and started with the first survey wave in 2010/2011.
In each of the subsequent survey waves in 2014, 2017, and 2021, the panel sample is supplemented by a top-up sample of new households from population registers.
A household interview (duration 60-70 minutes) is targeted in each household and a person interview (duration 10-15 minutes) is targeted with each person aged 16 and older in the household.
Proxy interviews are possible for the personal interviews.
In principle, the surveys will be conducted as face-to-face interviews (CAPI).
The personal interviews can alternatively be conducted in another method (method mix).
Since wave 4, the interviews (depending on the Corona situation) can also be conducted as CAPI by phone interviews by the CAPI interviewers.
In waves 1 and 2, the survey languages were German, Turkish, Russian, Polish and English.
However, since very few foreign-language interviews were conducted in these waves, the survey has been conducted exclusively in German since wave 3.