As every other empirical study, the Saxon Longitudinal Study also has certain methodical particularities, that must be taken into consideration when interpreting the results.

  • The sample consists of age-homogenous group of East German adults, exclusively from the state of Saxony (regions around Leipzig and Chemnitz).
  • The education level of the sample is relatively high. All participants have at least graduated from the 10th class of “polytechnische Oberschule”.
  • The results of the study cannot necessarily be generalized to the total population of East Germany (due to different age groups, different federal states, other education levels etc.).
  • The response rate has decreased over the years. Based on the N = 587 people that in 1989 expressed their willingness to continue contributing, in 2019/20 the response rate was as high as 54.7%, after more than 32 years of study. Based on the number of participants whose addresses are classified as active, (not deceased, not unknown relocated, etc.) the response rate is 75%.
  • The reasons for not participating/ dropout of individual participants is unfortunately not always known, and, despite all the effort, also cannot always be determined.
  • With participation numbers of approximately N=300 subgroup analyses are not always possible (e.g. women of a certain income group).
  • Even with longitudinal studies, the changing of participants in the different survey waves leads to sample limitations, since many of the participants did not continuously take part in all surveys.
  • There are no/ very few similar data from West Germany that examined similar questions over a long period of time in a comparable cohort.


Berth, H., Brähler, E., Zenger, M. & Stöbel-Richter, Y. (2020). Die Sächsische Längsschnittstudie – Zahlen und Fakten. In H. Berth, E. Brähler, M. Zenger & Y. Stöbel-Richter (Hrsg.), 30 Jahre ostdeutsche Transformation. Sozialwissenschaftliche Ergebnisse und Perspektiven der Sächsischen Längsschnittstudie. Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag.

Berth, H., Förster, P., Brähler, E., Zenger, M. & Stöbel-Richter, Y. (2015). Die Sächsische Längsschnittstudie. In H. Berth, E. Brähler, M. Zenger & Y. Stöbel-Richter (Hrsg.), Gesichter der ostdeutschen Transformation. Die Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer der Sächsischen Längsschnittstudie im Porträt (S. 17-27). Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag.