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ADELE laboratory

Secure use files are microdata files of all Istat’s statistical surveys, containing no direct identifiers, no special categories of personal data and no personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences. Istat makes them available within its Laboratory for the Analysis of ELEmentari Data (ADELE), offering the world of scientific research a tool for carrying out independent analyses on survey microdata, in compliance with the data protection regulations.

What is the ADELE Laboratory?

The Laboratory for the Analysis of Elementary Data (ADELE) is a physical data centre where researchers may access – upon request – survey microdata, to which no further methods of statistical disclosure control have been applied. In the request it must be specified that access is requested for scientific purposes and that the information already made available by Istat through other tools (I.Stat databaseeditorial productiondatasetsdatabasesmicrodata filescustomised elaborations) is not enough to achieve the research objectives.

In the Laboratory, data security and statistical confidentiality are guaranteed by strict control on working methods and users’ analyses results.

Access to the ADELE Laboratory is only allowed to researchers from Entities recognised as research institutions by Comstat or included in the list of research institutions recognised by Eurostat. In all other cases, it is first necessary to apply for recognition.

In the ADELE Laboratory it is possible to conduct statistical analyses on:

  • microdata collected and validated by Istat through the various surveys on individuals, households and businesses;
  • some databases integrating different sources, designed to expand information at the level of individual enterprises

To look for your data of interest, you can consult the list of Istat surveys (only in Italian).

A variety of software tools is available for specialized users at the Laboratory: SAS, Stata, R and Spss. No technical/methodological assistance is provided.

Analysis results are verified for compliance with the given data protection legislation after completion of the project. Only results that comply with the defined rules can be issued.

For detailed information on the ADELE Laboratory, researchers may refer to the User Guide.

How to request the Secure use files

For a preliminary eligibility assessment the Principal researcher of an accredited research entity shall submit:

  • Research Proposal – (facsimile)
  • Confidentiality Declaration of the Principal Researcher of the Research proposal – (facsimile)
  • Confidentiality Declaration of individual Researchers involved in the project – (facsimile)
  • Additional certification (in case of Joint projects) – (facsimile)

Principal Researcher

The Principal Researcher should have one of the following qualifications: university professor (full, associate, aggregate or contract professor); researcher or similar positions; research grant-holder, manager of recognized research institutes, employee of entities carrying out research activities, member of scientific societies.


Contact person for microdata requests

The Contact person for microdata requests shall be the same as the contact person indicated in the Application form for Recognition as a research entity. In the case of recognition by Eurostat, the name of the “Contact person” shall be given, and, if necessary, can be requested directly to Eurostat by sending an email to


Joint project

A joint project is a research project involving the collaboration of two or more entities. All participating organisations must be recognized as research entities. The model refferring to a joint project must also be signed by the Contact person for microdata requests of each related entity.


This request shall be formally submitted through the Istat Contact Centre, by selecting the service “Release of microdata”.

The ADELE Laboratory (secure data centre) is in Istat headquarters (Rome, via Cesare Balbo 16) and in each Istat regional office in Italy (except the Institute of Statistics of the Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano).

Further types of output can be requested through the Personalised data analyses.