Data / Methodology

GGP 2020

The GGP is currently preparing for a new round of data collection which will commence at the end of 2019. As part of this, the methodology of the GGP is being updated and renewed to ensure that social scientists and policy makers have access to the highest quality data possible. The survey will be implemented from the GGP Central Coordination Office’s at NIDI in the Hague to ensure that data is collected efficiently and effectively across a wide range of countries. The survey uses a new questionnaire which ensures comparability with the the FFS (1990’s) and the previous GGS (2000’s).  The GGP hopes to collect data from more than 20 countries in 2020 and further enrich the GGP research infrastructure. Further information will be available soon.

Download the New GGS Questionnaire

Data Documentation

Core Questionnaires – GGS Round 1 (2004-2011)

Wave 1

Wave 2

Wave 3


National Questionnaires – Wave 1

National Questionnaires – Wave 2

For detailed information on the data preparation procedures and a guide how to use the files below please visit the Data Preparations section. Detailed information on variable coding and country specificities can also be found in our online data analysis suite.

Sampling and Documentation

Country specific documentation

For detailed information on the data preparation procedures and a guide how to use the files below please visit the Data Preparations section.

Country specific documentation

User Syntax

If you have syntax that you would like to share with the rest of the user community we would be very happy to make it available via the website and can work with you to make sure its user friendly. If you have any questions about user synatx files or would like to make your own contribution,

If you use syntax for work included in a publication we ask that you acknowledge the authors of the syntax (stated at the top of each file) in the publication.

GGS Century Month Creation [STATA]

Created by Judith Koops and Tom Emery (August 2015). This file converts all dates in wave 1 of the GGS into century months. Century Months express the date of an event in terms of the number of months past since January 1st 1900. This makes the file easy to use for analysing the life course as you can simply subtract one date from another in order to get the number of months between the two events. Before running the syntax you will need to open a 4.2 version of a wave 1 file and run then just run the syntax. The variables are then converted from month/year format to century month format (i.e. ahg6m_1 ahg6y_1 -> anhg6_CM). 

GGS Fertility Indicators [SPSS]

Created by Jorik Vergauwen, Jonas Wood, David Wechter and Karel Neels and reported in the following article of Demographic Research (Link). Please cite the article if used. The syntax files allow the user/reader to replicate all different nuptiality indicators (ASFFMR, Period TFFMR, Cohort TFFMR, Period MAFFM and Cohort MAFFM) and fertility indicators (ASFR, Period TFR, Cohort TFR, Period MAC and Cohort MAC) for GGS Belgium. The code can be modified and applied to the microdata for other countries by using the information in Table 1 of the article. This table provides the user/reader with more information on the selections used for the different countries (for rates up to age 49). Note that the time periods considered for validation in Table 1 are based on rates calculated up to the age of 49 (while syntax selections are for the max. range, i.e. rates up to age 39). Also note that variable names differ between GGS countries (e.g. the max. number of partnerships, max. number of resident biological children, etc.).

Technical Papers

There are a number of papers which cover the technical aspects of the GGP and the implications for substantive research. A selection of these is provided below:

Harmonized Histories

Please acknowledge the Harmonized Histories by including the following either within the acknowledgements or footnotes of any publications using the data:

“The Harmonized Histroies data file was created by the Non-Marital Childbearing Network ( (see Perelli-Harris, B.; Kreyenfeld, M.; Kubisch, K.: Harmonized histories: manual for the preparation of comparative fertility and union histories (2011) Rostock, MPIDR Working Paper WP-2010-011).
It harmonizes childbearing and marital histories from 14 countries in the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP) with data from Spain (Spanish Fertility Survey), United Kingdom (British Household Panel Study) and United States (National Survey for Family Growth). Thank you to everyone who helped collect, clean, and harmonize the Harmonized Histories data, especially Karolin Kubisch at MPIDR.”

If you need to refer to procedures for harmonizing the Histories, please cite: Perelli-Harris, Brienna, Michaela Kreyenfeld, and Karolin Kubisch. 2010. “Technical Manual for the Harmonized Histories Database.” Rostock, MPIDR Working paper 2010-011.


The Harmonized Histroies data file was created by the Non-Marital Childbearing Network (see Perelli-Harris, B.; Kreyenfeld, M.; Kubisch, K.: Harmonized histories: manual for the preparation of comparative fertility and union histories (2011) Rostock, MPIDR Working Paper WP-2010-011). It harmonizes childbearing and marital histories from 13 GGP countries with data from Spain, United Kingdom and United States. The data file builds on the public release files of the GGS by further harmonizing and standardizing the histories within the GGP and ensuring the data is ready for use in event history analysis. The GGP is indebted to the Non-Marital Childbearing Network for its work on the standardisation of partnership and fertility histories and making this data file publicly available to the GGP Research Community. Access to the harmonised histories file is provided through the GGP User Space. Users with existing access to the GGP are granted access automatically and will need to log out and then log in again to access the data.



We are very grateful to the members of the Nonmarital Childbearing Network from various research institutions who in 2009 initiated the idea of a comparative database of union and fertility histories. Brienna Perelli-Harris, Michaela Kreyenfeld, Karolin Kubisch, Wendy Sigle-Rushton, Renske Keizer, Paola DiGiulio, and other members of the Nonmarital Childbearing Network created a manual to facilitate the harmonization (see Perelli-Harris, B.; Kreyenfeld, M.; Kubisch, K.: Harmonized histories: manual for the preparation of comparative fertility and union histories (2010) Rostock, MPIDR Working Paper WP-2010-011).

Harmonized Histories team

We acknowledge the important contribution of the project head Brienna Perelli-Harris (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and later University of Southampton) and of the project leader at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research Michaela Kreyenfeld.

We acknowledge the important contribution of Karolin Kubisch at the Max Planck Institute who managed the standardization and cleaning process of the surveys. She also drew up detailed documentation, updated the surveys, and responded to users.

We acknowledge the important contribution of Sigrid Gellers-Barkmann at the Max Planck Institute who managed data distribution from Rostock and was responsible for data protection and contacts with users.

Institutional support

This project would not have been possible without the encouragement and financial support of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock and the support from the Datalab of the MPI and especially its  head Vladimir Shkolnikov, who supported the enormous amount of work of Karolin Kubisch on this project.  We are also grateful to the former director of MPIDR Joshua Goldstein for his support.

We also thank the IT department of the MPIDR for technical support especially in the development of secure data transfer methods.

Individual contributors

We thankfully acknowledge the contributions of the following researchers and institutions. In alphabetical listing by country/area, they include:

AUT: Caroline Berghammer (Vienna Institute of Demographie)

ESP: Alicia Adsera (Princeton University)

ITA: Paolo di Giulio (Vienna Institute of Demography)

NLD: Renske Keizer (Rotterdam University)

NOR: Trude Lappegård (Statistics Norway)

UK: Wendy Sigle-Rushton (London School of Economics)

USA: Katherine Michelmoore and Kelly Musick (Cornell University)

These researchers provided us with country specific prepared files according the specifications of the Harmonized Histories.

Many thanks to our users for helping to find errors in the database, including Aija Duntava, Gerda Neyer, Sunnee Billingsley and Gunnar Andersson from Stockholm University, and Paulina Galezewska and Julia Mikolai from the University of Southampton.

Data provider

GGS data were obtained from the GGP archive and were created by the organizations and individuals listed at About GGP Page.

UK: The BHPS study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The data was originally collected by the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change at the University of Essex. Over time, additional funding for the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) has been provided by the Health Education Authority (HEA), Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Eurostat. The HEA helped to carry out the survey of 11-15 year old members of the BHPS sample included from Wave 4 onwards. The Northern Ireland sample, included from Wave 11, is jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and various Northern Ireland government departments. Chiara Daniela Pronzato cleaned the fertility and partnership histories and her data set (available from the UK data archive) was used in this analysis. (see:

Netherlands: Data about the Netherlands were derived from the The Family and Fertility Survey 2003 (Onderzoek Gezinsvorming). The FFS contains detailed information about relationships and family (formation). Data were collected by Statistics Netherlands. (see:

For Spain, data comes from the Spanish Fertility Survey. (see:

Please note: “The Survey of Fertility and Values was collected by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, but it is still undergoing processing. Therefore, the CIS holds no responsibility for any inaccuracies found in the data.”

USA: The National Survey of Family Growth was conducted by the Division of Vital Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. (see:

Germany Pairfam: For Germany, we include data from the German Family Panel (pairfam) into the Harmonized Histories. We include data from the German Family Panel, because of potential data limitations of the German GGS (Kreyenfeld, Hornung, & Kubisch, 2012).Caution should be used when using the German Family Panel as it follows a cohort approach and includes only respondents of the birth cohorts 1971-73, 1981-83, 1991-93. Also note that the German Family Panel includes an oversample of East Germans, so that descriptive analysis need to be weighted.

Information on how the Harmonized Histories were created and further information about the Non-Marital Childbearing Network can be found via their website:

Families of Poles in the Netherlands

The release of formal restrictions on the free movement of Central and Eastern Europeans that started with the end of the Cold War and the eastward enlargement of the European Union in the 2000s have led to new migration flows in Europe. In the Netherlands, in absolute terms, Poles are the largest group amongst emigrants from the Central and Eastern European countries which acedded to the European Union in 2004. The Families of Poles in the Netherlands (FPN) survey aims to develop a database which allows examining different aspects of Polish migrant family life, including family formation, generational interdependencies, espoused family obligations and life outcomes. A blueprint for the survey is the questionnaire of the Generations and Gender Surveys (GGS). The questionnaire includes a broad array of topics including fertility, partnership, the transition to adulthood, economic activity, care duties and attitudes. As the Gender and Generations Survey (GGS) has been also carried out in the Netherlands and Poland, linking the FPN to the Dutch and Polish GGS data permits a comparison of the Polish migrant population in the Netherlands, Poles in Poland and the Dutch in the Netherlands, and it provides a unique opportunity to unravel the role of migration in shaping family life. To study the determinants of family solidarity and migration choices, following changes in respondents’ situations over time is necessary. Therefore, the FPN has a panel character – the second wave of the survey will be repeated in 2017.

Data Access

The FPN data can be accessed through the GGP data portal under the general data agreement. If you already have GGP data access and would like FPN data added to your user space, please email


The FPN survey was carried out by the Erasmus University Rotterdam and is a part of Pearl Dykstra’s ERC Advanced Investigator project “Families in Context”.

FPN team

The data collection is a joint effort of the EUR team “Families in Context”. Prof. dr. Pearl A. Dykstra is the primary investigator of the Families of Poles in the Netherlands survey. Dr. Kasia Karpinska was responsible for the scientific and practical coordination of the data collection. The Families in Context team members—Tineke Fokkema, Nina Conkova, Brett Ory, Wouter Quite, Sean de Hoon and Thijs van den Broek— and associated researchers—Aafke Komter and Renske Keizer offered valuable comments on drafts of the questionnaire. The survey was executed in cooperation with Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, CBS).


Research reports using the FPN data must include the following reference to the FPN data:

Karpinska, K., Dykstra, P.A., & Fokkema, T. (2016). Families of Poles in the Netherlands (FPN) survey. Wave 1. DANS. DOI:

Researchers using FPN data must also include the following acknowledgment in their manuscripts: 

“The research presented here is based on Wave 1 data from the Families of Poles in the Netherlands survey (FPN). Financial support for this survey comes from the ERC Advanced Investigator Grant “Families in Context” (ERC, 324211).”

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