Conditions for access to LNU data

The Level of Living Surveys (Levnadsnivåundersökningarna, LNU) include sensitive information on individuals, as defined by the Swedish Personal Data Act (Personuppgiftslagen, PUL, SFS 1998:204; § 13). This kind of information may be used in research if the project is compatible with the Act Concerning Ethical Review of Research Involving Humans (Etikprövningslagen, EPL, SFS 2003:460). Such compatibility is examined by an Ethical Review Board (Etikprövningsnämnden, EPN, Therefore, an approval by EPN for the project in which LNU data is to be used is necessary for access to LNU data.

In addition, the following conditions apply, in accordance with the Personal Data Act (PUL): (a) no more individual information than necessary with regard to the purpose of the specific research project may be used and (b) personal information should not be stored for a longer time period than necessary with regard to carrying out the specific research project. Therefore, it is important that the content of the LNU data applied for is clearly motivated by the purpose of the specific research project and that a time limit for the specific project is clearly specified.

Rules for using LNU data

1. The rules and guidelines for social science research as formulated by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR; see shall be followed whenever applicable.

2. Only anonymized data are provided. No attempt to remove this protection or in any other way identify individuals in the data set is allowed.

3. Received LNU data must not be provided to any unauthorized person. Only members of the research group who are named in the application for LNU data are seen as authorized.

4. Data must be stored in such a way that only authorized members of the project have access to them, i.e., unattended physical and digital spaces in which data are stored must be locked and inaccessible for unauthorized persons.

5. Data are not to be distributed through open networks (e.g. by e-mail), nor should data be transmitted in such a way between authorized persons.

6. In all written reports (regardless of publication from) that fully or partly are based on LNU data, the data source must be clearly cited.

7. Reports that fully or partly build on LNU data should, as soon as they are completed, be sent digitally to the Level of Living Project at SOFI (

How to apply

Researchers / PhD students:

1. Read through (a) the conditions for access to LNU data and (b) rules for using LNU data; see above.

2. Fill out the application form:

Ansökningsblankett LNU-data (doc) (21 Kb)

Save one completed version in word format and another completed version in pdf format. The pdf version should include a signature by the project leader.

3. Send the application (word, pdf and ethical approval) to

LNU contains sensitive information according to PUL (see above). In order to use such information in research you need an ethical approval made by EPN (see above). If you have any questions about this contact Submit a copy of the ethical approval with your application.