The European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) project was launched for the first time in Malta in 2005 and has been carried out on annual basis ever since. This survey is today regarded as the main source of national statistics on income distribution, poverty and social exclusion.
The EU-SILC is carried out under European Framework Regulation (EC) No 1177/2003, which stipulates rulings by which this survey is carried out in a harmonised way across the EU. Data collection is also coordinated by Eurostat that provides methodological guidelines by which this survey can be carried out at highest quality standards in all EU member countries. Information collected from this survey includes information related to the distribution of household income, health and disability, employment, and material deprivation. In this context, indicators derived from SILC aim to identify the population categories that are most prone to poverty, material deprivation and social exclusion.
The method used for EU-SILC involves personal interviews among a representative sample of households and all persons living in these households at the time of data collection. Every year, more than 4,000 households are contacted for this survey. The sampling methodology used for EU-SILC incorporates a rotational panel, which requires that three quarters of the responding households in a particular year are forwarded for the next year's survey. This way, every responding household is contacted over four consecutive years. This methodology makes it possible for NSO to analyse more accurately differences in income and socio-economic situation of households.
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