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General Lifestyle Survey (GLF) FAQs

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Frequently asked questions about the General Lifestyle Survey (GLF)

Why is this survey important?

The Government needs this information to make decisions about the provision of public services and investment in schools, roads and hospitals.

It is important that these decisions are based on up-to-date information about the make-up of the population and reflect the changes that take place from year to year.

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Why should I take part?

Whatever your circumstances, they are relevant to this survey.

Obtaining information from as many selected households as possible is the only way we can get a complete and accurate picture of the way in which the nation is altering.

By taking part in the survey you will ensure that your experiences and circumstances become an important part of the bigger picture of life in the UK today and will be helping to influence matters that affect us all.

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What is involved?

An interviewer will arrange a suitable time to visit you to conduct the interview.

All questionnaire data are collected face-to-face, using computer assisted questionnaires.

You will be asked questions on all aspects of life including housing, employment, health and income.

The survey also monitors progress towards a reduction in smoking and the adoption of safer drinking habits.

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How will the information I provide be used?

Government departments use the results of the survey to identify how and where they should be using public resources.

They use the information to check how different groups in the community are affected by existing policies and to inform future policy changes.

The survey is also used to provide UK statistics on income and living conditions for EU-wide monitoring of poverty and social exclusion and for developing policies targeted at tackling these issues.

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Who is carrying out the survey?

The General Lifestyle Survey is being conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the government's largest producer of statistics.

We compile independent information about the UK's society and economy which provides evidence for policy and decision making, and for directing resources to where they are needed most.

The ten-yearly census, measures of inflation, the National Accounts, and population and migration statistics are some of our highest-profile outputs.

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Will I be paid for taking part?

To reflect the importance we place on your assistance, a gift voucher for £10 will be sent to each person interviewed, each time they participate in the survey after the initial interview.

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Is the survey compulsory?

No-one has to take part if they do not want to, but we hope that, if people understand the importance of our work, they will choose to help us and make our surveys successful.

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Is the survey confidential?

Yes, the information you provide will be treated in strict confidence as directed by the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

It will be used to produce statistics that will not identify you or anyone in your household.

Survey information is also provided to other approved organisations for statistical purposes only.

All such statistics produced are subject to the Code and the same standards of protection are applied to your information at all times.

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Why have I been selected?

Households are selected at random from the Royal Mail's Postcode Address File.

Now that you have been selected we cannot replace you with another household.

This means your participation is very important to the success of this official survey in ensuring that all groups in the community are properly represented.

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Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any further queries about taking part in the survey please contact the Survey Enquiry Line on 0800 298 5313.

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Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.