UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Community Life Survey Experimental Online Data, 2015-2016

Title details

SN: 8124
Title: Community Life Survey Experimental Online Data, 2015-2016
Alternative title: CLS
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-8124-1
Series: Community Life Survey [Community Life Surveys, 2012/2013-]
Depositor: Cabinet Office
Principal investigator(s): Cabinet Office
Data collector(s): TNS BMRB
Kantar Operations
Sponsor(s): Cabinet Office


The citation for this study is:

Cabinet Office. (2017). Community Life Survey Experimental Online Data, 2015-2016. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 8124,

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Subject Categories

Charities, voluntary organisations and voluntary work - Social welfare policy and systems
Community and urban studies - Society and culture
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The Community Life Survey was first commissioned by the Cabinet Office in 2012-2013. It is a household survey conducted in England, tracking the latest trends and developments across areas key to encouraging social action and empowering communities, including:
  • volunteering and charitable giving;
  • views about the local area;
  • community cohesion and belonging;
  • community empowerment and participation;
  • influencing local decisions and affairs; and
  • subjective well-being
Up to 2015-16, the survey used a face-to-face methodology. Following thorough testing (experimental online versions of the survey were released for 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16), the CLS moved to an online and paper mixed-method approach from 2016-17 onwards, with an end to previous current face-to-face method. The objectives of the survey are to: The objectives of the survey are to:
  • provide robust, nationally representative data on behaviours and attitudes within communities to inform and direct policy and action in these areas;
  • to provide data of value to all users, including public bodies, external stakeholders and the public; and
  • underpin further research and debate on building stronger communities
The Community Life Survey incorporates a small number of priority measures from the Citizenship Survey, which ran from 2001-2011, conducted by the Department for Communities and Local Government. These measures were incorporated in the Community Life Survey so that trends in these issues could continue to be tracked over time. (The full Citizenship Survey series is held at the UK Data Archive under GNs 33347 and 33474.)

Further information may be found on the Community Life Survey website.

The Community Life Survey Experimental Online Survey Data, 2015-16, gathered data from an online alternative to the face-to-face survey, comprising a sample of 3,256 adults in England, which ran from July 2015 to March 2016. Data from a postal version of the questionnaire, which was included in a targeted 50% of second reminder mailing packs, is also contained in the dataset. This questionnaire covered the same topics as the online survey but was reduced in length. Full details can be found in the Web Survey Technical Report.

End User Licence and Special Licence data
Users should note that there are two versions of each Community Life Survey Experimental Online Data experimental online dataset. 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: social class; ethnicity; religion; sexual identity and lower level geographical classifications.

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.

The SL version of the Community Life Survey Experimental Online Data, 2015-2016 is held under SN 8125.

Main Topics:
The survey covers measures that are key to understanding our society and local communities such as volunteering, charitable giving, neighbourhood, civic engagement, social action and subjective well-being.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: July 2015 - March 2016
Country: England
Spatial units: Government Office Regions
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
Adults (aged 16 years and over) resident in England, during 2015-2016.
Time dimensions: Repeated cross-sectional study
Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
Number of units: 3,256 cases
Method of data collection: Postal survey
Online (web-based) survey
Weighting: Weighting used. See documentation for details.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 05 January 2017
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 for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Community Life Survey - Postal Questionnaire 2015-16 8124_cl_2015-16_postal_questionnaire.pdf 881
Community Life Survey - Web Questionnaire 2015-16 8124_cl_2015-16_web_questionnaire.pdf 494
Community Life Survey - Web Survey Technical Report 2015-16 8124_cl_2015-16_web_survey_technical_report.pdf 2956
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_8124_Information.htm 6
READ File read8124.htm 10


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