About the study
Social Survey (ESS) maps long-term attitudinal and behavioural
change across Europe. The survey takes place every two years in
over 30 nations, including the UK. It covers a wide range of
social, political and cultural issues and is carried out to the
highest methodological standards.
The project is funded by the European Commission, the European Science Foundation, academic funding bodies and National Science Foundations in each participating country. The project is directed by a Central Co-ordinating Team at the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys at City University, London.
The UK's participation is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). NatCen co-ordinates the UK's involvement, working with a fieldwork agency who carry out the interviews.
Potential policy impact
The breadth of topics covered by ESS, as well as the ability to compare the UK with other countries, means it offers unique insights. It is used to inform academic and political debate, allowing scholars, policy-makers, think tanks and other interested parties to measure and interpret changes over time in people's values.
Further details about the survey content can be found in the individual survey pages:
All of the ESS's protocols, methods, procedures and data are made immediately available to all on its website, as part of its commitment to exchanging best practice worldwide.
All ESS datasets, including Round 5, are freely available via the ESS's data website. Highly user-friendly, it offers data users the options of conducting simple analyses on-line, and of downloading all or parts of the dataset for more detailed or complex analyses. A web-based training tutorial, ESS EduNet, is also available to aid the less experienced user.