New Understanding Society data release – 25 years of longitudinal household data now available

For the first time in the Study’s history, data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) has been harmonised with Understanding Society to create 25 years of longitudinal data.

The British Household Panel Survey started in 1991 and followed the same representative sample of individuals over 18 years. In 2009, BHPS participants were asked if they would consider joining the new, larger and more wide-ranging survey Understanding Society.

The latest data release features seven waves of Understanding Society data, plus eighteen waves of Understanding Society harmonised British Household Panel Survey data. All of the data can be downloaded via the UK Data Service.

The data will be used by academic researchers worldwide as well as being available to researchers in government departments, third sector and other organisations.

Additional features of Wave 7 data release:
  • Main survey: Most modules in Wave 7 appeared in previous waves, however there are a number of new modules, including questions on health service use, young adult and parental higher education expectations, and questions about poverty. All modules can be seen in the Long Term Content Plan.

  • Young adult questionnaire content: Since Wave 2, participants aged 16-21 years old answer additional questions in the Main Survey that are tailored for young adults. In this data release rotating modules on education, bullying at school and future intentions are repeated so that researchers can examine change from Waves 3 and 5.

  • Youth questionnaire modules: Participants aged 10-15 years old complete a paper questionnaire every wave which takes 30 minutes to complete. The youth self-completion questionnaire was the same as used at Wave 5. The youth self-completion questionnaire includes questions on family life, friends, bullying, happiness, education, health and political attitudes.

  • Immigrant and Ethnic Minority Boost: In the Understanding Society interview, the Immigrant and Ethnic Minority Boost Sample are asked an extra five minutes of questions which are relevant to the experiences of ethnic minorities and immigrants.

For more information on access to the data see the Understanding Society website


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