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The following gives answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the BHPS.

BHPS Design

  • What is the BHPS and when did it start?
  • How frequent are the interviews?
  • What is a “reference year”?


  • What is the BHPS sample size and how was it selected?
  • Have any new samples been added since the start of the survey?
  • How do I know which sample a respondent belongs to?


  • What is the definition of a household?
  • How are students living away treated?
  • What’s a household reference person?
  • Why are there no longitudinal weights for households?


  • Where do I find the questionnaires?

Core variables

  • How do I know when a given variable is carried?
  • What are the topics covered by the variable components?
  • What things have others researched?


  • How are missing values treated in the data?
  • How do I identify imputed values?
  • What are derived variables?

Data Access

  • How do I access the data?
  • Does it cost anything?


  • How often are data released?
  • Do I need to update all of my files whenever a new wave of the BHPS is released?


  • What sorts of research have been done with the BHPS data in the past?
  • What research has been published using these data?


  • What sorts of classes about the BHPS or training about its uses are available?

User Support

  • Who do I call if I’ve got a problem?

User Group

  • Is there a discussion list I can join?


  • How are the data weighted?
  • How do I use the weights created?
  • Why is weighting important?


  • How do I create household level variables that summarise information within the individual level files?


  • How do I match respondents across waves?
  • Respondents within households?
  • Children to their parents?
  • Spouses to one another?


  • Is the BHPS comparable to other longitudinal data sets?
  • What opportunities are there for cross-national research with the BHPS?