UK Data Service data catalogue record for:
|Title:||Understanding Society: Waves 1-6, 2009-2015|
|Alternative title:||United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study; UKHLS|
|Series:||Understanding Society [Understanding Society: Waves 1- , 2008-]|
|Depositor:||University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research|
University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research
NatCen Social Research
Millward Brown Ulster
Economic and Social Research Council
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Education
Department for Transport
Department of Health
Welsh Assembly Government
Food Standards Agency
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Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.Understanding Society (the UK Household Longitudinal Study) is conducted by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), at the University of Essex. The survey research organisation that collects the data is Kantar Public (formerly TNS BMRB) in Great Britain and Millward Brown Ulster in Northern Ireland. As a multi-topic household survey, the purpose of the study is to understand social and economic change at the household and individual levels. It is anticipated that over time Understanding Society will permit examination of short- and long-term effects of social and economic change, including policy interventions, on the general wellbeing of the UK population. The study has a strong emphasis on the domains of family and social ties, work, financial resources, and health.
Understanding Society is an annual survey of each adult member of a nationally representative sample. The same individuals are re-interviewed in each wave, approximately 12 months apart. When individuals move they are followed within the UK and anyone joining their households is also interviewed, as long as they are living with them. The fieldwork period is 24 months. The first wave of data was collected between January 2009 and January 2011, the second wave between January 2010 and January 2012, and so forth. Data collection primarily uses computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). One person completes the household questionnaire. Each person aged 16 or older participates in the individual adult interview and self-completed questionnaire. Young people aged 10-15 years are asked to respond to a paper self-completion questionnaire. The study has five sample components: the general population; a boost sample of ethnic minority group members; an immigrant and ethnic minority boost sample; participants in the former British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and the Innovation Panel (which is a separate standalone survey (see SN 6849) and so not included in the main release.
Further information about the survey may be found on the Understanding Society web site.
End User Licence, Special Licence and Secure Access versions:
Users should note that there are two versions of the main Understanding Society data. One is available under the standard End User Licence (EUL) agreement, and the other is a Special Licence (SL) version. The SL version contains month and year of birth variables instead of just age, more detailed country and occupation coding for a number of variables and various income variables have not been top-coded (see the documentation available with the SL version for more detail on the differences). 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; 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. The SL versions of the main Understanding Society and Innovation Panel studies may be found under SNs 6931 and 7083 respectively. Low-level and Medium-level Geographical Identifiers data are also available subject to SL access conditions; see SNs 6666, 6668-6675 and 7182 (main study) and 6908-6916 (Innovation Panel). In addition, a fine detail geographic dataset (SN 6676) is available under more restrictive Secure Access conditions that contains British National Grid postcode grid references (at 1m resolution) for the unit postcode of each household surveyed, derived from the ONS National Statistics Postcode Directory (NSPD). For details on how to make an application for Secure Access dataset, please see the SN 6676 catalogue record.
These data are provided by the depositor in Stata format. Users are strongly advised to analyse them in Stata. Transfer to other formats may result in unforeseen issues. Stata SE software is needed to analyse the larger files, which contain over 2,047 variables.
The survey instrument is constructed with modules. For a fuller listing of modules and questionnaire content see the User Manual or the online documentation system.
The household questionnaire includes a household composition listing of all household members with information about gender, date of birth, marital and employment status, and relationship to the household respondent. The household questionnaire also includes questions about housing, mortgage or rent payments, material deprivation, and consumer durables and cars.
The individual interview is asked of every person in the household aged 16 or over. It includes questions about demographics, baseline information, family background, ethnicity and language use; migration, partnership and fertility histories; health, disability and caring; current employment and earnings; employment status (for persons interviewed January-June); parenting and childcare arrangements; family networks; benefit payments; political party identification; household finances; environmental behaviours; consents to administrative data linkage. A proxy module, comprising a much shortened version of the individual questionnaire may be completed by one person on behalf of another; it collects demographic, health and employment information, as well as a summary income measure.
Those who completed an individual adult interview also complete a self-completion questionnaire. It includes subjective questions, particularly those which are potentially sensitive or require more privacy. For example, feelings of depression (GHQ-12) and well-being, sleep behaviour, environmental attitudes and beliefs, neighbourhood participation and belonging, life satisfaction, activities with partner and relationship quality. A youth self-completion questionnaire is completed by 10-15 year olds. It includes questions on computer and technology use, family support, sibling relationships, feelings about areas of life, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), health behaviours, smoking and drinking, and aspirations.
Standard measures used:
Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 12 (SF-12)
General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12)
Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
|Dates of fieldwork:||January 2009 - May 2016|
Government Office Regions
|Kind of data:||
Individual (micro) level
Households and their individual members resident in the United Kingdom.
Multi-stage stratified random sample
Two-stage stratified systematic sample - see documentation for details.
|Number of units:||Over 40,000 households were included in the sample at Wave 1. See documentation for breakdown of numbers and response rates for each wave so far.|
|Method of data collection:||
Face-to-face interview; Self-completion
|Weighting:||Weighting used. See documentation for details.|
|ADOLESCENTS||ADOPTED CHILDREN||ADOPTIVE PARENTS|
|ALCOHOLIC DRINKS||APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT||ASPIRATION|
|BIRTH WEIGHT||BREAST-FEEDING||BRITISH POLITICAL PARTIES|
|CABLE TELEVISION||CARE OF DEPENDANTS||CARE OF THE DISABLED|
|CARE OF THE ELDERLY||CAREGIVERS||CENTRAL HEATING|
|CHILD BENEFITS||CHILD CARE||CHILD DAY CARE|
|CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS||CHILDBIRTH||CHILDREN|
|CLINICAL TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS||CLOTHING||COHABITATION|
|COHABITING||COLOUR TELEVISION RECEIVERS||COMMUNITY BEHAVIOUR|
|COMMUTING||COMPACT DISC PLAYERS||COMPUTERS|
|COUNCIL TAX||CRIME VICTIMS||CRIME|
|CRIMINAL DAMAGE||CULTURAL GOODS||DEATH|
|DEPRESSION||DIET AND NUTRITION||DISABILITIES|
|DIVORCE||DOMESTIC APPLIANCES||DOMESTIC RESPONSIBILITIES|
|ECONOMIC ACTIVITY||EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND||EDUCATIONAL EXPECTATIONS|
|ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY||ELECTRONIC GAMES||EMOTIONAL STATES|
|EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES||EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMMES||EMPLOYMENT|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION||ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION||ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION|
|ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES||ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENTS||ETHNIC GROUPS|
|FAMILIES||FAMILY DISORGANIZATION||FAMILY ENVIRONMENT|
|FAMILY LIFE||FAMILY MEMBERS||FAMILY SIZE|
|FATHER'S ECONOMIC ACTIVITY||FATHER'S PLACE OF BIRTH||FATHERS|
|FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES||FINANCIAL EXPECTATIONS||FINANCIAL RESOURCES|
|FUELS||FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT||FURNISHED ACCOMMODATION|
|FURNITURE||FURTHER EDUCATION||GAS SUPPLY|
|HEALTH||HEATING SYSTEMS||HEIGHT (PHYSIOLOGY)|
|HIGHER EDUCATION||HOLIDAYS||HOME BUYING|
|HOME CONTENTS INSURANCE||HOME OWNERSHIP||HOURS OF WORK|
|HOUSE PRICES||HOUSEHOLD BUDGETS||HOUSEHOLD INCOME|
|HOUSING BENEFITS||HOUSING CONDITIONS||HOUSING FACILITIES|
|HOUSING FINANCE||HOUSING NEEDS||HOUSING TENURE|
|INSURANCE||INTEREST (FINANCE)||INTERNET ACCESS|
|INTERNET USE||INVESTMENT||JOB CHANGING|
|JOB HUNTING||JOB SATISFACTION||JUVENILE DELINQUENCY|
|LANDLORDS||LANGUAGES||LEAVING HOME (YOUTH)|
|LEISURE TIME ACTIVITIES||LIFE SATISFACTION||LIVING ABROAD|
|MARITAL STATUS||MARRIAGE DISSOLUTION||MARRIAGE|
|MEALS||MOBILE PHONES||MORTGAGE ARREARS|
|MORTGAGES||MOTHER'S ECONOMIC ACTIVITY||MOTHER'S PLACE OF BIRTH|
|MOTHERS||MOTOR PROCESSES||MOTOR VEHICLES|
|NEIGHBOURS||OCCUPATIONAL PENSIONS||OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS|
|OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING||OCCUPATIONS||ONE-PARENT FAMILIES|
|PARENTAL ROLE||PARENTAL SUPERVISION||PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP|
|PAYMENTS||PERSONAL DEBT REPAYMENT||PHYSICAL MOBILITY|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||PLACE OF RESIDENCE||POLITICAL ALLEGIANCE|
|POLITICAL ATTITUDES||POLITICAL INTEREST||PRIVATE PERSONAL PENSIONS|
|PRIVATE SCHOOLS||PRIVATE SECTOR||PROFITS|
|PUBLIC SECTOR||QUALIFICATIONS||QUALITY OF LIFE|
|RECREATIONAL FACILITIES||RECYCLING||RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION|
|RELIGIOUS ATTENDANCE||RELIGIOUS DOCTRINES||RENEWABLE ENERGY|
|RENTED ACCOMMODATION||RENTS||RESIDENTIAL MOBILITY|
|SAFETY AND SECURITY||SATELLITE RECEIVERS||SATISFACTION|
|SAVINGS||SCHOOL PUNISHMENTS||SCHOOL-LEAVING AGE|
|SOCIAL CAPITAL||SOCIAL CLASS||SOCIAL HOUSING|
|SOCIAL INEQUALITY||SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS||SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS|
|SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS||SOLAR POWER||SOLID FUEL HEATING|
|SPOUSES||STANDARD OF LIVING||STATE EDUCATION|
|STATE RETIREMENT PENSIONS||STEPCHILDREN||STUDENT TRANSPORTATION|
|TELEVISION VIEWING||TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT||THEFT|
|TRAVELLING TIME||TRUANCY||UNEARNED INCOME|
|UNITED KINGDOM||URBAN AREAS||VEGETABLES|
|VOTING BEHAVIOUR||VOTING INTENTION||WAGES|
|WEIGHT (PHYSIOLOGY)||WELSH (LANGUAGE)||WIDOWED|
|WIND POWER||WORKING WOMEN||WORKPLACE|
|Date of release:|
|First edition:||13 December 2010|
|Latest edition:||23 November 2016 (8th Edition)|
|Copyright:||Copyright Economic and Social Research Council|
|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)|
|Immigration and Ethnic Minority Boost: Variable Comparison||6614_iemb-non-iemb_question_comparison_2016.xlsx||68|
|Ethnicity and Immigration Research: User Guide||6614_ethnicity_immigration_guide_ed3.pdf||2115|
|Immigration and Ethnic Minority Boost: Fieldwork Documents||6614_iemb_fieldwork_documents.pdf||5035|
|Immigration and Ethnic Minority Boost: Questionnaire||6614_iemb_questionnaire.pdf||3719|
|Immigration and Ethnic Minority Boost: Technical Report||6614_iemb_technical_report.pdf||417|
|Wave 1: Fieldwork Documents||6614_wave1_fieldwork_documents.pdf||2691|
|Wave 1: Questionnaires||6614_wave1_questionnaires.pdf||4153|
|Wave 1: Technical Report||6614_wave1_technical_report.pdf||478|
|Waves 1-5: Revision, 2016||6614_wave1_to_5_revisions_2016.pdf||224|
|Waves 1-6: User Guide, 2016||6614_wave1_to_6_user_guide.pdf||821|
|Wave 2: Fieldwork Documents||6614_wave2_fieldwork_documents.pdf||2338|
|Wave 2: Questionnaires||6614_wave2_questionnaires.pdf||5031|
|Wave 2: Technical Report||6614_wave2_technical_report.pdf||347|
|Wave 3: Fieldwork Documents||6614_wave3_fieldwork_documents.pdf||4744|
|Wave 3: Leaflets and Advance Letter||6614_wave3_leaflets_advance_letter.pdf||2546|
|Wave 3: Questionnaires||6614_wave3_questionnaires.pdf||7958|
|Wave 3: Technical Report||6614_wave3_technical_report.pdf||1998|
|Wave 4: Fieldwork Documents||6614_wave4_fieldwork_documents.pdf||5909|
|Wave 4: Leaflets and Advance Letter||6614_wave4_leaflets_advance_letter.pdf||1282|
|Wave 4: Questionnaires||6614_wave4_questionnaires.pdf||8139|
|Wave 4: Technical Report||6614_wave4_technical_report.pdf||1574|
|Wave 5: Fieldwork Documents||6614_wave5_fieldwork_documents.pdf||5683|
|Wave 5: Leaflets and Advance Letter||6614_wave5_leaflets_advance_letter.pdf||1738|
|Wave 5: Questionnaires||6614_wave5_questionnaires.pdf||8413|
|Wave 5: Technical Report||6614_wave5_technical_report.pdf||1375|
|Wave 6: Advance Letters||6614_wave6_advance_letters.pdf||3182|
|Wave 6: Fieldwork Documents||6614_wave6_fieldwork_documents.pdf||9705|
|Wave 6: Questionnaires||6614_wave6_questionnaires.pdf||7627|
|Wave 6: Technical Report||6614_wave6_technical_report.pdf||635|
|Study information and citation||UKDA_Study_6614_Information.htm||7|
By principal investigator(s):
For links to publications based on Understanding Society, including those listed below and others, please see the Understanding Society Publications webpage.
Burton, J., Nandi, A. and Platt, L. (2008) Who are the UK's ethnic minority groups? Issues of identification and measurement in a longitudinal survey, ISER Working Paper 2008-2. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2008-02
Gray, M., Uhrig, S. C. N., Constantine, R., d'Ardenne, J. and Blake, M. (2008) Cognitive testing of Understanding Society. The UK Household Longitudinal Study questionnaire, ISER Working Paper 2008-4. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2008-04
Lynn, P. (2009), Sample design for Understanding Society, ISER Working Paper 2009-1. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2009-01
Berthoud, R., Fumagalli, L., Lynn, P., Platt, L. (2009) Design of the ethnic minority boost sample, ISER Working Paper 2009-2. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2009-02
Nandi, A. and Platt, L. (2009) Developing ethnic identity questions for Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, ISER Working Paper 2009-3. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2009-03
Rabe, B. (2011) Geographical identifiers in Understanding Society, version 1, ISER Working Paper 2011-1. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2011-01
Nandi, A., Platt, L. (2011) Effect of interview modes on measurement of identity, ISER Working Paper 2011-2. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2011-02
Booker, C. and Sacker, A. (2011) ‘Limiting long-term illness and subjective well-being in families’, Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 3(1), pp.41-65.
Lynn, P. (2011) Maintaining cross-sectional representativeness in a longitudinal general population survey, ISER Working Paper 2011-4. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2011-04
Ferragina, E., Tomlinson, M. and Walker, R. (2011) ‘Determinants of participation in the United Kingdom: a preliminary analysis’, Understanding Society .
Knies, G. (2011) ‘Life satisfaction and material well-being of young people in the UK’, Understanding Society .
Lynn, P., Burton, J., Kaminska, O., Knies, G. and Nandi, A. (2012) An initial look at non-response and attrition in Understanding Society, ISER Working Paper 2012-2. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2012-02
Lynn, P. (2012) The propensity of older respondents to participate in a general population survey, ISER Working Paper 2012-3. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from http://research.understandingsociety.org.uk/publications/working-paper/2012-03
Knies, G., Burton, J. and Sala, E. (2012) ‘Consenting to health record linkage: evidence from a multi-purpose longitudinal survey of a general population’, BMC Health Services Research, 12(1), p.52.
Longhi S. (2013) Individual pro-environmental behaviour in the household context, ISER Working Paper 2013-21. Retrieved 17 February 2014 from https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/publications/working-papers/iser/2013-21.pdf
McFall, S. L. and Buck, N. (2013) ‘Understanding Society – the UK Household Longitudinal Survey: a resource for demographers’, in Applied Demography and Public Health, Springer Netherlands, pp.357-369.
Tippett, N., Wolke, D. and Platt, L. (2013) ‘Ethnicity and bullying involvement in a national UK youth sample’ Journal of Adolescence, 36(4), pp.639-649.
Resulting from secondary analysis:
For links to publications based on Understanding Society, including those listed below and others, please see the Understanding Society Publications webpage.
Demey, D., Berrington, A., Evandrou, M. and Falkingham, J. (2011) 'The changing demography of mid-life, from the 1980s to the 2000s', Population Trends, 145 (Autumn), pp.16-34. Retrieved October 19th, 2011 from http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/population-trends-rd/population-trends/no--145--autumn-2011/ard-pt145-changing-demography.pdf
Demey, D., Berrington, A., Evandrou, M., Falkingham, J. and McGowan, T. (2011) How has mid-life changed in Britain since the 1980s?, CPC Briefing Paper No. 2. Retrieved October 19th, 2011 from http://www.cpc.ac.uk/resources/downloads/Mid_Life_in_Britain_briefing2.pdf
McAloney, K. (2012) 'Inter-faith relationships in Great Britain: prevalence and implications for psychological well-being', Mental Health, Religion and Culture, (online), DOI:10.1080/13674676.2012.714359
Berrington, A., Stone, J. and Falkingham, J. (2013) The impact of parental characteristics and contextual effects on returns to the parental home in Britain, CPC Working Paper 29.
Crawford, C., Dearden, L. and Greaves, E. (2013) When you are born matters: evidence for England, IFS Reports, R80, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. doi: 10.1920/re.ifs.2013.0080. Retrieved August 19, 2013 from http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r80.pdf
Crawford, C., Dearden, L. and Greaves, E. (2013) The impact of age within academic year on adult outcomes, IFS Working Papers, W13/07, May. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. doi: 10.1920/wp.ifs.2013.1307. Retrieved August 19, 2013 from http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp201307.pdf
Demey, D., Berrington, A., Evandrou, M. and Falkingham, J. (2013) 'Pathways into living alone in mid-life: diversity and policy implications', Advances in Life Course Research, 18(3), pp.161-174. doi:10.1016/j.alcr.2013.02.001
McAloney, K. (2013) ‘Mixed’ religion relationships and well-being in Northern Ireland’, Journal of Religion and Health, pp.1-10.
Demey, D., Berrington, A., Evandrou, M. and Falkingham, J. (2014) 'Living alone and psychological well-being in mid-life: does partnership history matter?', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 168(5), pp.403-410. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2013-202932
Hutchinson, J., White, P.C.L. and Graham, H. (2014) 'Differences in the social patterning of active travel between urban and rural populations: findings from a large UK household survey', International Journal of Public Health. doi 10.1007/s00038-014-0578-2
Correa, S., Durrant, G.B. and P.W. Smith (2014) When to stop calling? Using call record data to assess nonresponse bias in a longitudinal study, paper presented to the International Workshop on Household Survey Nonresponse, 2 September 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Longhi S. (2014) 'Cultural diversity and subjective wellbeing', IZA Journal of Migration, 3(13), DOI: 10.1186/2193-9039-3-13
Kumar,A., Rotik, M. and Ussher, K. (2014) Pay progression: understanding the barriers for the lowest paid, London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Retrieved April 23, 2015, from http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/pay-progression_2014-understanding-the-barriers-for-the-lowest-paid.pdf
Cruise, S.M., Patterson, L., Cardwell, C.R. and O'Reilly, D. (2015) 'Large panel-survey data demonstrated country-level and ethnic minority variation in consent for health record linkage', Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68, pp.684-692. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.01.011 (ISSN 0895-4356).
Dodds, R.M., Syddall, H.E., Cooper, R. et al. (2014) 'Grip strength across the life course: normative data from twelve British studies', PLoS ONE, 9(12): e113637. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113637
Evans, K. (2016)Working well: how employers can improve the wellbeing and productivity of their workforce, London: Social Market Foundation. Retrieved February 2nd, 2016 from http://www.smf.co.uk/publications/working-well-how-employers-can-improve-the-wellbeing-and-productivity-of-their-workforce/
Keohane, N. (2016) Longer lives, stronger families: the changing nature of intergenerational support, London: Social Market Foundation. ISBN: 978-1-910683-08-8. Retrieved February 8th, 2016 from http://www.smf.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Publication-Longer-Lives-Stronger-Families-The-changing-nature-of-intergenerational-support.pdf
Wakeling, P., Berrington, A. and Duta, A. (2015) Investigating an age threshold for independence at postgraduate level, Bristol: Higher Education Funding Council for England. Retrieved June 7th, 2016 from http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/rereports/Year/2015/pgind/Title,105806,en.html
Wheatley, D. and Bickerton, C., (2016) 'Subjective well-being and engagement in arts, culture and sport', Journal of Cultural Economics, forthcoming. doi: 10.1007/s10824-016-9270-0.
Zischka L. (2016) The link between 'giving' behaviours and a healthy social environment, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Reading. See record at http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/66399