Data Collection

Access to CBS microdata

In November 2015 the University of Twente and Statistics Netherlands (CBS) signed a partnership agreement. Thanks to this agreement our researchers can now take advantage of the extensive data collections of CBS. The CBS data hold all data collected by Dutch government and a lot of public bodies.

There are three ways to make use of the CBS data:

  • CBS StatLine database: more than 3400 freely and directly available statistical datasets, consisting mainly of tables and figures. These data are based on observations and can be used to gain insight into phenomena in Dutch society or to formulate, monitor and evaluate policies.
  • CBS StatLine Open Data: statistical data in StatLine can be provided in the form of datasets via Open Data.
  • CBS Microdata: anonymized data at the level of private individuals or companies. These data are more detailed and more specific than the StatLine data, and can even be combined with your own datasets. The microdata can be used by researchers under strict conditions via a remote access terminal, available for UT researchers in the Ravelijn. More specific information on accessing Microdata can be found in the CBS service catalogue and the Microdata guidelines. An overview of available Microdata can be found in the Microdata catalogue (currently in Dutch only). To get permission to use the CBS Microdata, follow the steps described below.


All microdata will remain in the secure CBS environment. Researchers only have access to the data needed for their own research. Researchers use the secure environment made available to them, in which they can store draft versions, syntaxes and output. If they wish to export (draft) results from the secured environment, the export will be carried out by CBS, for more information see here. CBS will verify that the results do not contain any identifiable data.

Please note:

  • The entire process (from handing in your first research proposal to actually accessing the data you required) may take a few weeks, depending on the exact request.
  • There are costs involved in using CBS Microdata (see “tariff structure”, service catalogue). The fees which apply to microdata research depend on the number of participating researchers, the number of dataset subjects and the duration of the project, among others. Funding support for the costs of using CBS Microdata for your project may be available if its complies with the BMS research focus. For more information contact IGS Datalab.  

Request permission to use CBS Microdata:

  1. Hand in your research proposal (describing research design and questions) and a completed Data Management plan at IGS Datalab
  2. To apply for access to Microdata you have to submit an application form to start a research project. Please fill in the excel application form and mail this to You don’t have to fill in the form completely when it’s your first application, CBS will contact you and help you further.
  3. Formulate the research project together with CBS, specifying the required datasets and costs
  4. Contact IGS Datalab to come to an agreement about the costs

Using the CBS remote access terminal:

As from 1 July 2017 CBS has changed the procedures for analyse of the CBS microdata via Remote Access. Instead of the Remote Access facility at Ravelijn, CBS now works with a personal token and password, which can be used from any secure workplace via a secure Internet connection.

Working with microdata requires adherence to a number of rules. These can be found in the document ‘Rules for using the RA facility’. In addition, CBS pursues a sanctioning policy. For more information, see the ‘Remote Access sanctioning policy’ document

Old remote access procedure:

The old RA facility is kept running for a while (at least the end of this year) till everyone is switched to the token.

When authorization is granted, UT researchers can use the CBS remote access terminal. This terminal is located at the secure Datalab room (room left to RA5432) in the Ravelijn. To use the terminal, follow the steps below:

  1. Check the availability of the Datalab room via the Outlook Calendar:
    Ravelijn-Room-5432-IGS Datalab
  2. Reserve the room at your convenience by contacting the IGS secretary (Marcia Clifford, T: 053 489 3423, room RA1438)
    On the reserved date and time:
  3. Sign the list at the IGS secretary and get the key to the room
  4. Read the house rules before starting your work
  5. Start the CBS terminal and connect to the CBS website using the fingerprint scanner
  6. Start/continue your research using CBS databases

Former projects

  • Stéphanie van den Berg (OMD) is researching the interaction between biological make-up and environmental influences on school performance. CBS has a rich dataset that she can easily analyze with the aid of the terminal, which saves lots of travelling to and from The Hague.
  • Hans Luyten and Ilona Veer (both OWK) are using the CBS terminal for their ‘Start Groups’ research. They are matching respondents from an experimental group and a control group based on background data (education, country of birth, etc.) obtained via CBS.
  • John Pritchard (ET) is using the CBS terminal as part of the ASTRID project. He explores the job accessibility in the Netherlands as a way to study whether there are underprivileged clusters of individuals.