Life in Kyrgyzstan Study, 2010 - 2019
Data Set Description
The Life in Kyrgyzstan (LiK) Study is a research-based multi-topic longitudinal survey of households and individuals in Kyrgyzstan, which Prof. Tilman Brück started in 2009. It tracks the same 3000 households and over 8000 individuals over time in all seven Kyrgyz regions (oblasts) and the two administratively distinct cities of Bishkek and Osh, resulting in a dataset that is representative nationally, rural/urban, and North/South. The initial sampling was based on the 2009 national population census. The survey was first conducted in the fall of 2010 and it has been repeated five times in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2019.
The LiK Study covers a broad range of topics such as household demographics, health, education, assets, expenditure, migration, employment, agricultural markets, shocks, social networks, and subjective well-being. It contains separate questionnaires at the community, household, farm, and individual levels. The LiK data is posted for free public access on this website since 2016. The data are supported by the provision of questionnaires and field reports.
The LiK received funding from the Volkswagen Foundation for the first three waves (2010-2012) when it was hosted by the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW). Other project partners were the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE-Kyrgyzstan), and the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). In the period 2013-2015, Wave 4 was funded by DFID and IZA as a part of the Growth and Labour Market-Low Income Country (GLM-LIC) Programme. The consortium included the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as the lead institution, UCA as the main Kyrgyz partner, and several research institutions from Asia, Europe, and North America. Since then, the study has been hosted by the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) for Waves 5 and 6 and has received funding from UN-FAO, IFPRI, DFID, IZA and, internally, from IGZ and UCA.
The first five waves of the LiK survey were collected by the company Sotseconik; the sixth wave was collected by the survey company SIAR. Both companies are long-established and reputable companies providing services in Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries.
The dataset covers a wide range of topics – from household demographics, assets, income sources, expenditure, and migration to individual well-being, employment, social networks, decision-making, and attitudes among many other topics.
Each of the questionnaires at the various levels consists of several modules, with core modules being asked in every wave. In 2016, an agricultural questionnaire was added to collect detailed information on farming (from farming households1). In 2019, a youth questionnaire was added to interview household members aged 14-17.
The household questionnaire includes:
1) Household composition and children
2) Housing and assets
3) Agricultural markets (moved to Agricultural questionnaire in Wave 5)
4) Consumption and expenditure
5) Income sources
8) Climate change (only in Wave 6)
The individual-level questionnaires include (incl. youth questionnaire introduced in Wave 6):
1) Subjective well-being
2) Education, health, and personality
3) Labour market
5) Family and household
7) Aspirations (only in Wave 5)
8) Security and violence
9) Social life
The agricultural questionnaire includes (Waves 5 and 6):
1) Farm land and use
2) Livestock and poultry farming
3) Agricultural information
4) Products quality
5) Farm investments
The community-level questionnaire includes:
1) General community information
2) Prices for food products
The LiK survey collects data in all seven Kyrgyz oblasts (Batken, Chui, Djalal-Abad, Issyk-Kul, Naryn, Osh, and Talas) and the cities of Bishkek and Osh. It is representative at the national level as well as for urban and rural areas and the south and the north of the country.
The LiK is an individual panel, not a household panel. All adult members of the households, not just one respondent, are interviewed and tracked over time. In principle, all persons who took part in the first wave of the survey in 2010 are to be surveyed in the following waves. In each survey year, all individuals aged 18 and older, who were part of a LiK household in the previous years, and their respective households, are to be interviewed. If the sample individual moves, the individual is followed within Kyrgyzstan; if he or she moves out of the country, the individual is dropped from the sample. He or she may re-enter when coming back to the original household later. New individuals that move into an existing LiK household are surveyed and tracked, even in case of their eventual departure from the household in the following waves. Since all adult household members are to be re-interviewed individually in the LiK, all children of LiK households become part of the sample once they turn 18.
All questionnaires were first developed in English and later translated into Kyrgyz and Russian. Pre-testing and all the following changes are made in these two languages and the final version is back-translated into English for documentation. The draft questionnaires and the data entry program are pilot tested by collecting data from about 50 households from both rural and urban areas, but which are not a part of the LiK sample. The final questionnaires are a key part of the ethical approval submission, and any recommendations made by IRB were implemented before field works started. The two-day training of enumerators, preparation of fieldwork manuals, panel tracking, and data quality control procedures were a part of quality controls. Both survey companies that collected LiK data employed over 100 field interviewers, and were supervised by the team and regional managers. The data quality checks included review and approval of filled-out questionnaires by the team and regional supervisors and random repeated checks of about 10% of households. Data cleaning is generally focused on data labeling and management of data entry mistakes. Whenever possible, data inconsistencies, for example, out-of-scale answers and duplicate household or personal identifiers, are resolved in consultation with the survey company.
The original sample that was drawn for the first wave of data collection consists of 3,000 households and slightly more than 8,000 individuals in these households. The households were drawn through stratified two-stage random sampling. The strata are formed by Bishkek, Osh city, and the rural and urban areas of the seven oblasts, amounting to 16 strata in total.
In the first stage, a set of so-called population points (i.e. communities in rural areas, quarters in urban areas) were drawn in each stratum according to probabilities proportionate to population size. In each population point, a set of 25 households was drawn in the second stage. The National Statistical Committee (NSC) of the Kyrgyz Republic provided a household survey sample of 3,000 households based on the 2009 Population Census data. NSC also prepared reserve samples, ranging from 20 percent of the sample in rural areas to 100 percent in violence-affected areas in the southern part of the country in June 2010.
The table below presents the evolution of the LiK sample across six waves. The attrition of households was about 4.5% from wave to wave, which resulted in the retention of about 77% of households in the last, sixth wave.
Table 1: LiK Study sample evolution, 2010-2019
Total # of interviews
Scope of Data Set
Time Periods: 2010 - 2019
Brück, T., D. Esenaliev, A. Kroeger, A. Kudebayeva, B. Mirkasimov and S. Steiner (2014): “Household Survey Data for Research on Well-Being and Behavior in Central Asia”. Journal of Comparative Economics, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 819-35.Key reference
Researchers working with the “Life in Kyrgyzstan Study” are obligated to acknowledge the data base and its documentation within their publications, including the DOI, by using this reference.
IZA Discussion Paper(s)
- Bride Kidnapping and Labour Supply Behaviour of Married Kyrgyz Women
- Temporary International Migration, Shocks and Informal Insurance: Analysis Using Panel Data
- Emigration and Alcohol Consumption among Migrant Household Members Staying Behind: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan
- Return Migration and Self-Employment: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan
- Patrilocal Residence and Female Labour Supply
- What Methods May Be Used in Impact Evaluations of Humanitarian Assistance?
- Transfer Behaviour in Migrant Sending Communities
- Post-Socialist Transition and the Intergenerational Transmission of Education in Kyrgyzstan
- Household Survey Data for Research on Well-Being and Behavior in Central Asia
- Remittances and Children's Capabilities: New Evidence from Kyrgyzstan, 2005-2008
- Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), Germany
- University of Central Asia (UCA), Kyrgyzstan
- Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Sweden
- German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Germany
- American University Central Asia, (AUCA), Kyrgyzstan
- Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE), Kyrgyzstan
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Italy
- Hannover University, Germany
- Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany
- Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India
- International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA
- International Security and Development Center (ISDC), Germany
- KIMEP University, Kazhakstan
- Manchester University, UK
- Mannheim University, Germany
- Vanderbilt University, USA
Longitudinal survey dataSource:
Access to the data is provided to non-for-profit research, replication and teaching purposes. The data is available from the Research Data Center of IZA (IDSC).
Please contact IDSC for any access requests.