Luxembourg Income Study

LIS Cross-National Data Center, formerly known as the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), is a non-profit organization registered in Luxembourg which produces a cross-national database of micro-economic income data for social science research.

The project started in 1983 and is headquartered in Luxembourg. The database includes over 300 datasets from about 50 high- and middle-income countries, with some countries represented for over 30 years. Nationally representative household income survey data is commonly, though not exclusively, provided by the participant country’s national statistics collection agency (e.g. Statistics Canada; the Australian Bureau of Statistics). These and other agencies make annual financial contributions which support the database production and maintenance.

The LIS database contains anonymised demographic, income, labour market, and expenditure information at two different levels of analysis (household and persons). The data have, as far as is practical, been transformed to a structure which make different national data equivalent. Data access is only provided for research projects in the social sciences, commercial use is not permitted. For data security reasons the datasets cannot be downloaded or directly accessed. After being granted permission to use the data, users submit SPSS, SAS, R or Stata programs under their username and password to a remote server. The statistical results are automatically returned via email.

Datasets in the database are grouped in intervals referred to as “waves”: 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013. The LIS data are only suitable for cross-sectional analysis as households cannot be linked over time.

Researchers must agree to publish their papers in the LIS working paper series. This does not preclude other forms of publication. As of 2015, there are over 600 research papers in the series. The data are particularly suitable for cross-national comparisons of poverty and inequality and there are many papers on these topics in the working paper series.

LIS has recently included more middle-income countries. In 2007, a cross-national database on wealth, named ‘LWS’, became available. It contains data from a subset of the countries participating in the LIS Database.

The LIS website contains registration for data access, dataset contents, self-teaching tutorials, and a working paper series which includes abstracts and full texts.

Countries Participating in LIS


  • Egypt
  • South Africa


  • China
  • Japan
  • India
  • Israel
  • Russia
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan


  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • (Russia, also listed under Asia)
  • Serbia
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

North America

  • Canada
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • United States


  • Australia

South America

  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay

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