UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

British Household Panel Survey: Waves 1-13, 1991-2004: Teaching Dataset (Time Use, Leisure and Social Memberships)

Title details

SN: 5355
Title: British Household Panel Survey: Waves 1-13, 1991-2004: Teaching Dataset (Time Use, Leisure and Social Memberships)
Alternative title: BHPS
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-5355-2
Depositor: University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research. ESDS Longitudinal
Depositor: University of Essex. UK Data Archive. ESDS Longitudinal
Principal investigator(s): University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research. ESDS Longitudinal
University of Essex. UK Data Archive. ESDS Longitudinal
Original data producer(s): University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Higher Education Funding Councils. Joint Information Systems Committee
Health Education Authority
Office for National Statistics
Other acknowledgements: The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) was funded to compile this teaching dataset by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).

The ESRC, the Health Education Authority (HEA), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Eurostat funded the main British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), from which this dataset has been compiled.


The citation for this study is:

University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research. ESDS Longitudinal, University of Essex. UK Data Archive. ESDS Longitudinal. (2011). British Household Panel Survey: Waves 1-13, 1991-2004: Teaching Dataset (Time Use, Leisure and Social Memberships). [data collection]. 2nd Edition. University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research, [original data producer(s)]. UK Data Service. SN: 5355,

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Subject Categories

Leisure, tourism and sport - Society and culture
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Teaching packages and test datasets - Reference and instructional resources
Time use - Society and culture


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

This BHPS teaching/sampler dataset contains only Wave 1 respondents, and follows them for 13 waves, selecting broadly the same variables at each wave. There are some (fixed) variables which are only included at wave one, and there are a few variables which only appear intermittently, or are introduced later in the panel. The dataset contains a mix of original variables and derived variables.

In order to reduce the complexity of the data's structure and to make the data more accessible to inexperienced users, the dataset is in a rectangular format. Users are not required to undertake potentially problematic record/file merges in order to analyse the data longitudinally.

Variable names are the same as those in the original BHPS dataset such that variables are prefixed A for Wave 1, B for Wave 2, C for Wave 3 and so on. For example, the variable EAGE records the respondent's age at the date of the Wave 5 interview.

The main BHPS is carried out by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex. The main objective of the survey is to further understanding of social and economic change at the individual and household level in Britain, to identify, model and forecast such changes, their causes and consequences in relation to a range of socio-economic variables. The BHPS is designed as a research resource for a wide range of social science disciplines and to support interdisciplinary research in many areas. The unique value of the survey resides in that fact that:
  • it follows the same representative sample of individuals (the panel) over a period of years
  • it is household-based, interviewing every adult member of sampled households
  • it contains sufficient cases for meaningful analysis of certain groups such as the elderly or one parent families
  • it allows for linkage of data both from other surveys and from local area statistics
The BHPS was designed as an annual survey of each adult (aged 16+) member of a nationally representative sample of more than 5,000 households, making a total of approximately 10,000 individual interviews. The same individuals are re-interviewed in successive waves and, if they split off from original households, all adult members of their new households are also interviewed. Children are interviewed once they reach the age of 16, and there is also a special survey of 11-15 year old household members from Wave 4. Efficient fieldwork practices, training videos for interviewers and regular contact with the panel members ensures that the sample remains broadly representative of the population as it changes over time.

For the second edition (November 2011), erroneous syntax used to match files across waves has now been corrected.
Main Topics:
This dataset is the third BHPS sampler. It is based around the theme of time use, leisure activity and membership of social organisations and allows for respondents' behaviour to be tracked over time. A complete list of variables is included in the documentation.

The first BHPS teaching dataset covered the themes of work, family and health, and the second covered social and political attitudes. They are both available at the UK Data Archive (UKDA) under SNs 4901 and 5038 respectively.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1991 - 2004
Dates of fieldwork: The main BHPS fieldwork dates were as follows:
Wave 1 - 3 September 1991 to 30 January 1992
Wave 2 - 5 September 1992 to 30 April 1993
Wave 3 - 5 September 1993 to 30 April 1994
Wave 4 - 3 September 1994 to 9 May 1995
Wave 5 - 4 September 1995 to 30 April 1996
Wave 6 - 29 August 1996 to 17 April 1997
Wave 7 - 29 August 1997 to 8 May 1998
Wave 8 - 1 September 1998 to 8 May 1999
Wave 9 - 1 September 1999 to 30 April 2000
Wave 10 - 1 September 2000 to 31 May 2001
Wave 11 - 1 September 2001 to 25 May 2002
Wave 12 - 1 September 2002 to 30 April 2003
Wave 13 - 1 September 2003 to 10 May 2004
Country: United Kingdom
Spatial units: Districts (Metropolitan)
Government Office Regions
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
BHPS respondent households in the United Kingdom and individual household members
Time dimensions: Longitudinal/panel/cohort
Data are drawn from 13 waves of the BHPS
Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
See documentation for details
Number of units: 9,912 cases
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview; Self-completion
at Wave 9 of the BHPS, the survey moved from a pen and paper to a Computer-Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) mode of collection.
Weighting: Weighting used. See Volume A of main BHPS documentation

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 30 May 2006
Latest edition: 30 November 2011 (2nd Edition)
Copyright: Copyright Institute for Social and Economic Research
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
User Guide 5355userguide.pdf 1902
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_5355_Information.htm 7
READ File read5355.htm 10


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