Data linkage. What opportunities for survey research?

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale


Emanuela Sala

Publication date


Data linkage is a practice that consists in the linkage of survey data to administrative records held by different bodies, such as government departments, local authorities and universities. This practice has become increasingly popular in the survey world in the recent years. Indeed, a number of surveys have planned and are planning to link their survey data to the respondents’ administrative records. For example, following on a 2009 German pilot study, many countries that participate in the Survey for Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) intend to perform data linkage following the survey. The aim of this paper is to discuss the research potential of linking survey data to administrative records, to reflect on the methodological issues involved in performing data linkage, and to present the case study of the UK survey Understanding Society. The UK household longitudinal study

Volume and page numbers

116, 48-60





Survey Methodology and Surveys



Not held in Hilary Doughty Research Library - bibliographic reference only