BHPS Survey development opens up new research possibilities

British Household Panel Survey Researchers using the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) can now gain a better understanding than ever before of how our lives are affected by where we live.

Over the past year ISER, which has run the BHPS since 1994, has released a range of geographical identifiers about the location of BHPS households for all the currently available waves of BHPS data. These range from Local Authority Districts to Lower Level Super Output Areas, down to Postcode Grid References which indicate the position of a household’s postcode to the nearest metre.

The identifiers allow users to merge to the BHPS area characteristics such as measures of deprivation, air pollution, the location of telephone masts and much more and will be of considerable interest to researchers looking at issues such as the effect that neighbourhood environment has on people’s changing lives. Area classifications for Output Areas and Rural-Urban Indicators. are also available.

While some of the geographical identifiers may be downloaded from the ESDS/UK Data Archive website after agreeing to five confidentiality conditions, a special license agreement is required for the more detailed geographical identifiers such as Wards. Postcode Grid References will be accessed using Secure Data Service which offers secure remote access for approved researchers.

Birgitta Rabe, who has created the geo-indicators as part of her own ongoing research into the effects of neighbourhood quality on residential mobility, said:

“This really is a very exciting development for researchers who are interested to get a better understanding of how our lives are affected by where we live. I expect that the data release will stimulate lots of interesting new research using the BHPS.”


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