UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Annual Population Survey, January - December, 2012

Title details

SN: 7274
Title: Annual Population Survey, January - December, 2012
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7274-5
Series: Annual Population Survey [Annual Population Survey, 2004-]
Depositor: Office for National Statistics. Social Survey Division
Principal investigator(s): Office for National Statistics. Social Survey Division
Sponsor(s): Office for National Statistics
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Education and Skills
National Assembly for Wales
Scottish Government
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Central Survey Unit


The citation for this study is:

Office for National Statistics. Social Survey Division. (2017). Annual Population Survey, January - December, 2012. [data collection]. 5th Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 7274,

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Subject Categories

General - Employment and labour
Population studies - Population, vital statistics and censuses


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The Annual Population Survey (APS) is a major survey series, which aims to provide data that can produce reliable estimates at local authority level. Key topics covered in the survey include education, employment, health and ethnicity. The APS comprises key variables from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (held at the UK Data Archive under GN 33246), all its associated LFS boosts and the APS boost. Thus, the APS combines results from five different sources: the LFS (waves 1 and 5); the English Local Labour Force Survey (LLFS), the Welsh Labour Force Survey (WLFS), the Scottish Labour Force Survey (SLFS) and the Annual Population Survey Boost Sample (APS(B) - however, this ceased to exist at the end of December 2005, so APS data from January 2006 onwards will contain all the above data apart from APS(B)). Users should note that the LLFS, WLFS, SLFS and APS(B) are not held separately at the Archive. For further detailed information about methodology, users should consult the Labour Force Survey User Guide, selected volumes of which have been included with the APS documentation for reference purposes (see 'Documentation' table below).

The APS aims to provide enhanced annual data for England, covering a target sample of at least 510 economically active persons for each Unitary Authority (UA)/Local Authority District (LAD) and at least 450 in each Greater London Borough. In combination with local LFS boost samples such as the WLFS and SLFS, the survey provides estimates for a range of indicators down to Local Education Authority (LEA) level across the United Kingdom.

End User Licence and Secure Access APS data
Users should note that there are two versions of each APS dataset. One is available under the standard End User Licence (EUL) agreement, and the other is a Secure Access version. The EUL version includes Government Office Region geography, banded age, 3-digit SOC and industry sector for main, second and last job. The Secure Access version contains more detailed variables relating to:
  • age: single year of age, year and month of birth, age completed full-time education and age obtained highest qualification, age of oldest dependent child and age of youngest dependent child
  • family unit and household: including a number of variables concerning the number of dependent children in the family according to their ages, relationship to head of household and relationship to head of family
  • nationality and country of origin
  • geography: including county, unitary/local authority, place of work, Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics 2 (NUTS2) and NUTS3 regions, and whether lives and works in same local authority district
  • health: including main health problem, and current and past health problems
  • education and apprenticeship: including numbers and subjects of various qualifications and variables concerning apprenticeships
  • industry: including industry, industry class and industry group for main, second and last job, and industry made redundant from
  • occupation: including 4-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for main, second and last job and job made redundant from
  • system variables: including week number when interview took place and number of households at address
The Secure Access data have more restrictive access conditions than those made available under the standard EUL. Prospective users will need to gain ONS Accredited Researcher status, complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the additional variables. Users are strongly advised to first obtain the standard EUL version of the data to see if they are sufficient for their research requirements.

Documentation and coding frames
The APS is compiled from variables present in the LFS. For variable and value labelling and coding frames that are not included either in the data or in the current APS documentation (e.g. coding frames for education, industrial and geographic variables, which are held in LFS User Guide Vol.5, Classifications), users are advised to consult the latest versions of the LFS User Guides, which are available from the ONS Labour Force Survey - User Guidance webpages.

APS Well-Being Datasets
From 2012-2015, the ONS published separate APS datasets aimed at providing initial estimates of subjective well-being, based on the Integrated Household Survey. In 2015 these were discontinued. A separate set of well-being variables and a corresponding weighting variable have been added to the April-March APS person datasets from A11M12 onwards. Users should no longer use the bespoke well-being datasets (SNs 6994, 6999, 7091, 7092, 7364, 7365, 7565 and 7566, but should now use the variables included on the April-March APS person datasets instead. Further information on the transition can be found on the Personal well-being in the UK: 2015 to 2016

Disability variables from 2013 onwards - LFS and APS
ONS have provided some information on changes since 2013 to the disability variables available on the LFS and APS. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) disabled (current disability) category within the historic DISCURR variable no longer corresponds with the advised legal definition of 'current disability'. DISCURR should only be available on LFS microdata from Spring 1998 to January-March 2013 (JM13); beyond that point users should ignore or delete it. In addition, the same 'DDA disabled (current disability)' category within variable DISCURR13 is also not the most appropriate variable to use because a) it is not comparable to the corresponding category in variable DISCURR due to question changes, and b) it no longer measures either the DDA definition of disability or the latest Equality Act definition of disability. However, DISCURR13 is available from the April-March 2013 quarter (AJ13) onwards and was introduced to demonstrate that the variables used to compile DISCURR had also changed from that quarter. Therefore, users are advised to use the disability variable DISEA from AJ13 onwards, which reflects the Equality Act 2010 legal definition of 'disabled', measured according to the GSS Harmonised Standard on health conditions and illnesses. The harmonised disability variables DISEA and DISCURR13 should both be present on the APS person microdata from April 2013-March 2014 (A13M14) onwards. This ensures that APS users have a complete 12 months' data on which to base analysis of the variables. DISCURR should only be present on APS microdata up to and including April 2012-March 2013 (A12M13).

Variables DISEA and LNGLST
Dataset A08 (Labour market status of disabled people) which ONS suspended due to an apparent discontinuity between April to June 2017 and July to September 2017 is now available. As a result of this apparent discontinuity and the inconclusive investigations at this stage, comparisons should be made with caution between April to June 2017 and subsequent time periods. However users should note that the estimates are not seasonally adjusted, so some of the change between quarters could be due to seasonality. Further recommendations on historical comparisons of the estimates will be given in November 2018 when ONS are due to publish estimates for July to September 2018.

An article explaining the quality assurance investigations that have been conducted so far is available on the ONS Methodology webpage. For any queries about Dataset A08 please email

Latest Edition Information
For the fifth edition (June 2017), the 2016 person weight was replaced with the 2017 weight (variable PWTA17).

Main Topics:
Topics covered include: household composition and relationships, housing tenure, nationality, ethnicity and residential history, employment and training (including government schemes), workplace and location, job hunting, educational background and qualifications. Many of the variables included in the survey are the same as those in the LFS.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: January 2012 - December 2012
Country: United Kingdom
Spatial units: Government Office Regions
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
Persons resident in the UK in private households, and young people living away from the parental home in student halls of residence or similar institutions during term time.
Time dimensions: Repeated cross-sectional study
The survey has a panel element, in that the households at selected addresses are interviewed annually over four waves, in the same way as for the LFS boosts. They then leave the survey and are replaced by other households.
Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
Number of units: 322,278
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview
Weighting: Weighting used. See documentation for details.
Data sources: See the 'Abstract' section above for details of sources used.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 22 May 2013
Latest edition: 29 June 2017 (5th Edition)
Copyright: Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland
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)
Information on the EUL APS datasets aps_end-user_licence_files.pdf 132
User Guide Vol. 10 - Analysis of LFS Data 2017 lfs_user_guide_vol10_analysisofdatacollectedbythelfs2017.pdf 1345
User Guide Vol. 1 - Background and Methodology 2016 lfs_user_guide_vol1_background2016.pdf 1690
User Guide Vol. 2 - LFS Questionnaire 2013 lfs_user_guide_vol2_questionnaire2013.pdf 1222
User Guide Vol. 3 - Details of LFS Variables 2016 lfs_user_guide_vol3_variabledetails2016.pdf 1973
User Guide Vol. 4 - LFS Standard Derived Variables 2016 lfs_user_guide_vol4_derivedvariables2016.pdf 8959
User Guide Vol. 5 - Classifications 2009 lfs_user_guide_vol5_classifications2009.pdf 730
User Guide Vol. 6 - APS User Guide Local Area Data 2017 lfs_user_guide_vol6_apsuserguide2017.pdf 805
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_7274_Information.htm 6
READ File read7274.htm 10
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Davies R., Makepeace G., Munday M., Winterbotham, M. and Williams G. (2013) The 2011 ESF Leavers Survey, Merthyr: Welsh European Funding Office. Retrieved January 7, 2016, from

Davies R., Jones S, Munday M., Winterbotham, M. and Williams G. (2013) The 2012 ESF Leavers Survey, Merthyr: Welsh European Funding Office. Retrieved January 7, 2016, from

Davies R., Jones S., Roche, N., Munday M., Winterbotham, M. and Williams G. (2015) The 2013 ESF Leavers Survey’, Merthyr: Welsh European Funding Office. Retrieved January 7, 2016, from

Singleton, C. (2017) 'Long-term unemployment and the Great Recession: evidence from UK stocks and flows', Scott J Polit Econ, doi:10.1111/sjpe.12139


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