Social surveys in ONS
The Office for National Statistics carries out high quality social survey research for government departments and other public bodies on a range of social issues. This service began during the Second World War as the Wartime Social Survey and then the Government Social Survey. Since then we have been carrying out survey research for over 60 years, helping to develop government policies, inform public debate and monitor changes over time.
What we do
We are currently involved in a wide range of projects including:
We currently carry out 8 continuous surveys throughout the year every year, and over 30 ad-hoc surveys, which are commissioned to meet a particular information need. We collect information from more than half a million people each year through:
- personal interviews, mainly in people's own home
- telephone interviews, and
- postal surveys.
We undertake methodological work to develop survey techniques building on our world-renowned expertise in quantitative survey methods.
Consultancy and advice
We provide consultancy and advice on all aspects of survey design to government departments and agencies and other public bodies.
Exploring the feasibility of developing an integrated approach to social surveys.
There is a need for National Statistics to provide better information on key social and socio-economic variables between decennial censuses for a range of policy purposes. This project is looking to develop our ideas for the integration of the ONS-led continuous household surveys to meet this and related objectives. To find out more about this project click here.
More about the Social surveys in ONS
If you have been asked to take part in one of our surveys and want more information about what is involved click here:
Taking part in a survey
To find out more about the work on survey methods and quality look under Methods and Quality.
To find out more about particular social surveys carried out by ONS (until recently under the Divisional title of Social Survey Division) click on a Theme or topic at the left of this page to see the survey entries under that Theme.
Available online - 60 Years of Social Surveys 1941 - 2001
A miscellany of archive information commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Government Social Survey, now part of the Office for National Statistics.
For more general information about the ONS Sources Directorate and commissioning surveys contact:
SVS Project Support Branch Tel: +44 (0)20 7533 5500 or e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about particular social surveys carried out by ONS look under the Survey heading for each Theme or topic
This page last revised: Thursday, 1 July 2004