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Core and Variable Questions


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

The variable names on the BHPS remain constant apart from a wave indicator prefix. So the variable wSEX is ASEX at wave 1, BSEX at wave 2 and so on.

To find the wave by wave coverage of a specific variable, locate the variable through Volume B of the documentation. The codebooks in Volume B list the variables within the BHPS in several different ways including by subject category thesaurus, index term, record type and by wave.

Part of the codebook entry for each variable lists the waves in which the variable is covered, in addition to other useful information like the exact question wording, questionnaire and question number and a note if the question wording or response categories changed across waves. See, for example, the codebook entry for ALKNBRD (“Likes present neighbourhood”). Please note that the wave on wave coverage for this, and all other variables, is listed at the bottom of each codebook entry. These wave indicators link to the codebook entries for subsequent wave data for the given variable.

The thesaurus and index term listings yield thematic groupings with wave coverage indicators for each variable. See, for example, the entry for CHILDREN. Please note that the wave indicators for each variable as listed thematically links to the variable’s codebook entry.

A summary of the variable components carried at each wave of the survey is available.

The publication list should give you a flavour of the things studied with the BHPS data.

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