|The Integrated Household Survey (IHS) is a composite survey combining questions asked on a number of social surveys conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to produce a dataset of 'core' variables. The aim of the IHS is to produce high-level estimates for particular themes to a higher precision and lower geographic level than current ONS social surveys. The 'core' set contains around 100 questions, but a respondent is only asked a proportion of those depending on routing from answers to questions. The core questions are asked, where possible, at the beginning of the component surveys.
IHS prior to 2009:
A set of core questions were introduced within three surveys in January 2008; the General Lifestyle Survey, Living Costs and Food Survey and the Opinions Survey. In April 2008 the IHS core questions were introduced on the English Housing Survey, bringing the family of modules on the IHS up to four. The IHS data for 2008-2009 was used as a pilot for the concept, developing the systems and designing the weighting methodology. The IHS data for that period have not been published as they do not provide better quality information than that within existing surveys. Hence, the earliest IHS data currently available from the UK Data Archive cover 2009-2010.
IHS from 2009-2010:
In April 2009 the IHS core questions were introduced on the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS) questionnaires, though not all the core IHS questions were fully harmonised on the LFS. From June 2009 the Life Opportunities Survey (LOS) was included in the IHS family of modules. With the inclusion of these new surveys the IHS became complete, with an achieved annual sample size of approximately 450,000 individuals from interviews undertaken in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Therefore, the first IHS dataset to be released covers the period April 2009 - March 2010, starting the IHS data series from the point that all surveys were included. The large sample size and UK-wide coverage means various geographical breakdowns are possible in the IHS, and it is possible to use a geographical hierarchy to drill down to lower level detail within an area. (It should be noted that the lowest geographic level available on the standard access End User Licence IHS dataset is Government Office Region (GOR). Users who require more detailed geographies will need to make an application to use the Special Licence version of the IHS (see below)).
From April 2009 - March 2010 the IHS contained data collected from the following surveys:
However, in January 2010 the OPN survey was removed from the IHS. This was designed to shorten interview length of the OPN. Then from April 2011, the EHS and LOS were also removed. Further information about the IHS may be found on the ONS IHS webpages.
- General Lifestyle Survey (GLF) (held at the Archive under GN 33090)
- Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF) (held under GN 33334)
- Opinions Survey (OPN) (held under GN 33252) - removed January 2010
- English Housing Survey (EHS) (held at the Archive under GN 33422) - removed April 2011
- Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey (LFS/APS) (held under GNs 33246 and 33357 respectively)
- Life Opportunities Survey (LOS) (held at the Archive under GN 33245) - removed April 2011
End User Licence and Special Licence IHS data
Users should note that there are two versions of each IHS study. One is available under the standard End User Licence (EUL) agreement, and the other is a Special Licence (SL) version. The SL version contains more detailed variables relating to age, age of youngest dependent child, country of birth, family unit type, household and household reference person, industry class, sub-class and division, month left last job, cohabitation, country of residence history, multiple households at address, nationality, New Deal training types, National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) long version, qualifications, household relationships, minor Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) groups, sexual identity, training and working age. The more detailed geographic variables present include county, unitary/local authority, Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics 2 (NUTS2) and NUTS3 regions and Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs). Users should note that the user guide also mentions variables that are not included in either the EUL or SL datasets held at the Archive.
The EUL version contains less detailed variables. For example, the lowest geography available is Government Office Region, only major (3-digit) SOC groups are included for main, second and last job, and only industry sector for main, second and last job. Users are advised to first obtain the standard EUL version of the data to see if they are sufficient for their research requirements.
The SL data have more restrictive access conditions than those made available under the standard EUL. Prospective users of the SL version will need to complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the additional variables in order to get permission to use that version. Therefore, users are strongly advised to order the standard version of the data. In order to help users choose the correct dataset, 'Special Licence Access' has been added to the dataset titles for the SL versions of the data.
The ONS have provided the following information for users of the IHS:
"All IHS statistics are designated as experimental. Experimental statistics are new official statistics undergoing evaluation. They are published in order to involve customers and stakeholders in their development and as a mean to build in quality at an early stage. As the data are experimental ONS recommends that any publication of the IHS data should state the experimental branding. Where possible the source of the National Statistic for the estimate being published should also be referenced."