The DEAS makes possible a comprehensive description of life situations and life contexts of the German population aged over 40 in the year 2014 (current cross-sectional analysis), an analysis of social changes over the points in time 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014, and an investigation of intra-individual development over three to eighteen years (1996-2002-2008-2011-2014). Another perspective results from the comparison of individual development over a six year period in the three time-frames 1996 to 2002, 2002 to 2008, or 2008 to 2014, i.e. a comparison between the development of three birth cohorts in a specific age segment.
Starting from 2008, the DEAS panel is conducted every three years where only panel participants are considered. A new cross-sectional sample is drawn every six years. This approach enables the investigation of social change as well as individual development over an 18 year span.
In 2014 the fifth data collection wave was taking place: between April and October about 6000 persons were interviewed for the first time and over 4000 panel participants were interviewed again. The data were edited and the report for the federal ministry was written during 2015.
The following samples are available from the survey waves conducted between 1996 and 2014:
- Base Sample 1996 (B-1996): disproportionably stratified population register sampling according to age (40-54, 55-69, 70-85 years old) sex and geographical location (East/West) of the German population living in private households in the birth cohorts 1911-1956 (n=4.838)
- Panel Sample 1996-2002 (P-1996-2002) of the participants surveyed again in 2002 from B-1996 (n=1.524)
- Base Sample 2002 (B-2002) analogous to B-1996 of the birth cohorts 1917-1962 in the same local districts as Wave 1 (n=3.084)
- Sampling of non-German nationals 2002 (A-2002): random sampling of non-German nationals in the birth cohorts 1917-1962 living in private households in the same local districts as Wave 1 (n=586)
- Panel Sample 1996-2002-2008 (P-1996-2002-2008); participants from B-1996 were interviewed for a third time (n=991)
- Panel Sample 2002-2008 (P-2002-2008); participants from B-2002 were interviewed for a second time (n=1000)
- Base Sample 2008 (B-2008); a new cross-sectional sample of 40 - 85 years old persons (n=6205) (birth cohorts 1923-1968)
- Panel Sample 1996-2002-2008-2011 (P-1996-2002-2008-2011); participants from B-1996 were interviewed for a fourth time (n=1039)
- Panel Sample 2002-2008-2011 (P-2002-2008-2011); participants from B-2002 were interviewed for a third time (n=957)
- Panel Sample 2008-2011 (P-2008-2011); participants from B-2008 were interviewed for a second time (n=2858)
- Panel Sample 1996-2002-2008-2011-2014 (P-1996-2002-2008-2011-2014); participants from B-1996 were interviewed for a fifth time (n=887)
- Panel Sample 2002-2088-2011-2014 (P-2002-2008-2011-2014); participants from B-2002 were interviewed for a fourth time (n=866)
- Panel Sample 2008-2011-2014 (P-2008-2011-2014); participants from B-2008 were interviewed for a third time (n=2569)
- Base Sample 2014 (B-2014); a new cross-sectional sample of 40 - 85 year old persons (n=6002) (birth cohorts 1929-1974)
The sixth wave is currently conducted.
- Panel Sample 1996-2002-2008-2011-2014-2017 (P-1996-2002-2008-2011-2014-2017) participants from B-1996 will be interviewed for a sixth time
- Panel Sample 2002-2008-2011-2014-2017 (P-2002-2008-2011-2014-2017) participants from B-2002 will be interviewed for a fifth time
- Panel Sample 2008-2011-2014-2017 (P-2008-2011-2014-2017) participants from B-2008 will be interviewed for a fourth time
- Panel Sample 2014-2017 (P-2014-2017) participants from B-2014 will be interviewed for a second time