New data released from Understanding Society

Our latest data release features eight waves of Understanding Society data, plus 18 waves of Understanding Society harmonised British Household Panel Survey data. All of these data can be downloaded via the UK Data Service.

The data release includes

  • Main survey: Most modules in Wave 8 appeared in previous waves, however there are a number of modules that appear in rotation and are included in Wave 8. These include questions on commuting behaviour and working conditions, charitable giving, personal pensions and savings and personal identity. A full list of questions asked throughout the Study is included 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 happiness and self-esteem, alcohol consumption and future intentions are included.

  • 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 includes questions on family life, friends, self-esteem, happiness, education, health and environmental 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.

  • Improvements to Waves 1-7. The new release of data has allowed us to make improvements to Waves 1-7 of the Study. New variables and derived variables have been introduced and some weighting has been recalculated.

Understanding Society is the UK Household Longitudinal Study, established at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in 2009, as a successor to our previous long-running British Household Panel Survey. The Study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, key government departments and the governments of the devolved nations of the UK, to provide rich data for researchers analysing social, economic and biosocial changes in the UK.


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest