UK Data Service series record for:
The National Survey for Wales is carried out by the Office for National Statistics on behalf of the Welsh Government. The survey is a key source of information for the Welsh Government, other public sector organisations, and academics on the views and circumstances of people in Wales. It is carried out face-to-face with a random sample of over 10,000 adults a year. Starting with the National Survey for Wales 2016-17, the survey design covers the topics of five predecessor surveys and has therefore a longer interview than previous years. The predecessor surveys were: the first set of National Survey for Wales, which ran from 2012-15; the Welsh Health Survey; the Active Adults Survey; the Arts in Wales Survey and the Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey.
GN 33435 | National Survey for Wales
You can find links to the datasets in the DATA ACCESS section above. When you follow the link to a dataset you will be taken to its catalogue record which contains the following information:
Most survey data may be downloaded as SPSS, Stata or tab-delimited files. There is a download button near the top right of each catalogue record. Most datasets can be downloaded after you login to your UK Data Service account. See our Access pages for more information about how to access data.
See our Use data pages for more advice about getting started with analyses. These pages contain advice and training; guides about datasets, topics and methods and software including SPSS and Stata; information about how others have used the data and how to cite datasets. See also our Events pages for courses and webinars about how to find, use and manage data.
The National Survey for Wales (NSW) is one of the main ways in which the Welsh Assembly Government knows what issues are important to the people of Wales. The aim of the survey is to help the Welsh Assembly Government to:
The pilot study was completed in 2009-2010. The main survey began in 2012 and ended in 2015. The NSW replaced the Living in Wales survey series.
The pilot survey was based on face-to-face interviews in a randomly chosen sample of households across Wales. In each of these households, the survey covered the head of household and a randomly selected adult (who may also be the head of household). There was also a short self-completion questionnaire for every adult in the household.
The pilot study was completed in 2009-2010. The main survey began in 2012 and ended in 2015. For a list of datasets, see the DATA ACCESS section on this webpage.
The NSW is available in SPSS, STATA and ASCII format.
The NSW covers individuals aged 16 or over living in private households in Wales. The survey involves an interview with the head of household and a randomly selected adult (who may also be the head of household). There is also a short self-completion questionnaire for every adult in the household.
NSW data is at the level of the individual but can also be analysed at household/family level.
The household questionnaire covers:
The individual questionnaire covers:
The self-completion questionnaire covers:
A sample file is also included which contains geographical information about all the sampled households (including non-responding households).
Before I order, how do I find out what questions/variables are included?
Variable lists and PDF user guides (including questionnaires) are freely available from the catalogue page for each NSW survey. You can see a list of all the surveys in this series in the DATA ACCESS section of this webpage.
The NSW includes many of the same questions each year. Some modules are only included periodically, and it is expected that the topics included will vary to allow scope to collect new information of direct policy relevance.
The analysis of the NSW requires the use of weights which serve to gross estimates up to observed counts of population/households/addresses and account for disproportionate sampling. The three weights are: an all-Wales level household weight based on selection probabilities; an all-Wales level individual weight, adjusted for the number of people in a household; and an all-Wales level self-completion weight, similarly adjusted for the number of people in a household. These three different weights are called ‘Wales_Weight_Grossed’ in each data set but their content varies and analyses of each data set should use the weight contained in that data set.
The NSW deposited data includes 4 datasets with prefixes that describe the level at which the data is available, the prefixes are; ‘nswsample, ‘household’, ‘individual and ‘self-completion’. These files cover the geographical and socio-demographic variables (nswsample), and the results of each of the household, individual and self-completion questionnaires.
NSW data are available for Unitary Authorities; Police Regions; Fire Brigade Regions; Assembly Economic Fora Areas; Parliamentary and Welsh Government Constituencies. The geographical and socio-demographic information is held in the ‘nswsample’ file. In order to add this geographical information to the ‘household’, ‘individual’ and the ‘self-completion’ files you will need to match the nswsample file to the other files. The matching variable is ‘addno’.
Where can I obtain statistics and tables from the NSW?
Statistics and tables from the NSW will be published on the NSW pages of the Welsh Government. Statistics from the Living in Wales Surveys 2004-2008 can be downloaded from the Living in Wales survey results web page.
Using the National Survey for Wales for teaching
See our teaching pages for practical information, exemplars, and tips for using UK Data Service data in teaching, including: