The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically driven cross-national survey that has been conducted across Europe since its establishment in 2001. Every two years, face-to-face interviews are conducted with newly selected, cross-sectional samples. The survey measures the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of diverse populations in more than 30 nations.
As of 2017, eight rounds of ESS have been conducted.
The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically-driven multi-country survey, which has been administered in over 30 countries to date. Its three aims are, firstly – to monitor and interpret changing public attitudes and values within Europe and to investigate how they interact with Europe's changing institutions, secondly - to advance and consolidate improved methods of cross-national survey measurement in Europe and beyond, and thirdly - to develop a series of European social indicators, including attitudinal indicators.
In the sixth round, the survey covered 29 countries and employed the most rigorous methodologies. It was funded via the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, the European Science Foundation and national funding bodies in each country.
The survey involved strict random probability sampling, a minimum target response rate of 70 % and rigorous translation protocols. The hour-long face-to-face interview included questions on a variety of core topics repeated from previous rounds of the survey and also two modules developed for Round 6 covering Europeans’ Understandings and Evaluations of Democracy and Personal and Social Wellbeing (the latter is a partial repeat of a module from Round 3).
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
ESS6 edition 2.3 (published 01.12.16)
The data is available to users without restrictions, for not-for-profit purposes. In accordance with data protection regulations in participating countries, only anonymous data is available.
For previous releases please see: http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/data/ESS6_version_notes.html
The scope of the study includes:
- social trust
- political interest and participation
- socio-political orientations
- social exclusion
- national, ethnic and religious allegiances
- climate change, energy security and energy preferences
- human values
- demographics and socioeconomics
All persons aged 15 and over resident within private households, regardless of their nationality, citizenship, language or legal status, in the following participating countries:
1) European Union countries - Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
2) Non-European Union countries: Albania, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Norway, Switzerland, Russian Federation, Ukraine.
Producers and sponsors
ESS European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC)
The purpose of the design weights (DWEIGHT) is to correct for unequal probabilities for selection due to the sampling design used.
In general design weights were computed for each country as follows.
1.w = 1/(PROB1*...*PROBk) is a nx1 vector of weights ; k depends on the number of stages of the sampling design.
2. All weights were rescaled in a way that the sum of the final weights equals n, i.e. Rescaled weights = n*w/sum(w).
The purpose of the post-stratification weights (PSPWGHT) is to reduce sampling error and non-response bias, using auxiliary information. The ESS post-stratification weights have been constructed using information about age, gender, education and region. The ESS post-stratification weights also adjust for unequal selection probabilities (design weights).
A raking procedure has been used in the production of the post-stratification weights.
Source population figures: Eurostat. The European Union labour force survey (EU-LFS). For Albania, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden and Ukraine: ESS Appendix A5 Population Statistics.
The Population size weight (PWEIGHT) corrects for population size when combining two or more country's data, and is calculated as PWEIGHT=[Population aged 15 years and over]/[(Net sample in data file)*10 000]
Source population figures: Eurostat. For Albania and Israel: national statistics. For Kosovo: CIA World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kv.html)
In the ESS, data have to be collected via face-to-face interviews (preferably CAPI) in all participating countries. In each country, the national funding agency appoints a National Coordinator and a survey organisation to implement the survey according to common ESS specifications.
The core scientific team responsible for ESS implementation consisted of:
Roger Jowell (former PI), Rory Fitzgerald (current PI), Eric Harrison, Lorna Ryan, Ana Villar, Sarah Butt, Sally Widdop, Lizzy Gatrell, Yvette Prestage, Mary Keane and Peter Martin: Centre for Comparative Social Surveys (CCSS), City University London, UK. Geert Loosveldt, Jaak Billiet and Hideko Matsuo: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. Bjørn Henrichsen, Knut Kalgraff Skjåk, and Kirstine Kolsrud: NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data, Norway. Angelika Scheuer, Sabine Häder, Achim Koch, Matthias Ganninger, Verena Halbherr, Brita Dorer and Stefan Zins: GESIS, Germany. Willem Saris, Wiebke Weber, Diana Zavala Rojas and Bruno Arpino: Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. Ineke Stoop, Joost Kappelhof and Henk Fernee: The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), Netherlands. Brina Malnar: University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The dates for data collection in each of the countries were the following:
Field work period: Albania - 01.12.12 - 12.02.13
Field work period: Belgium - 10.09.12 - 24.12.12
Field work period: Bulgaria - 09.02.13 - 30.04.13
Field work period: Cyprus - 01.10.12 - 31.12.12
Field work period: Czech Republic - 09.01.13 - 11.03.13
Field work period: Denmark - 10.01.13 - 24.04.13
Field work period: Estonia - 01.09.12 - 28.01.13
Field work period: Finland - 03.09.12 - 02.02.13
Field work period: France - 08.02.13 - 30.06.13
Field work period: Germany - 06.09.12 - 22.01.13
Field work period: Hungary - 10.11.12 - 17.02.13
Field work period: Iceland - 03.10.12 - 23.03.13
Field work period: Ireland - 15.10.12 - 09.02.13
Field work period: Israel - 03.09.12 - 05.03.13
Field work period: Italy - 01.06.13 - 20.12.13
Field work period: Kosovo - 14.02.13 - 15.03.13
Field work period: Lithuania - 21.05.13 - 25.08.13
Field work period: Netherlands - 28.08.12 - 30.03.13
Field work period: Norway - 14.08.12 - 08.02.13
Field work period: Poland - 19.09.12 - 08.01.13
Field work period: Portugal - 24.10.12 - 20.03.13
Field work period: Russian Federation - 10.10.12 - 27.12.12
Field work period: Slovakia - 24.10.12 - 06.03.13
Field work period: Slovenia - 01.10.12 - 31.12.12
Field work period: Spain - 23.01.13 - 14.05.13
Field work period: Sweden - 01.10.12 - 05.05.13
Field work period: Switzerland - 01.09.12 - 22.04.13
Field work period: Ukraine - 11.07.13 - 09.08.13
Field work period: United Kingdom - 01.09.12 - 07.02.13
Citation of data:
ESS Round 6: European Social Survey Round 6 Data (2012). Data file edition 2.3. NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data, Norway – Data Archive and distributor of ESS data for ESS ERIC.
Citation of documentation:
ESS Round 6: European Social Survey (2016): ESS-6 2012 Documentation Report. Edition 2.3. Bergen, European Social Survey Data Archive, NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data for ESS ERIC.
To ensure that such source attributions are captured for social science bibliographic utilities, citations must appear in the footnotes or in the reference section of publications.
Archive where study is originally stored
ESS European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC)
Disclaimer and copyrights
The ESS ERIC, Core Scientific Team (CST) and the producers bear no responsibility for the uses of the ESS data, or for interpretations or inferences based on these uses. The ESS ERIC, CST and the producers accept no liability for indirect, consequential or incidental damages or losses arising from use of the data collection, or from the unavailability of, or break in access to the service for whatever reason.
DDI Document ID
NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data
Norway's Ministry of Education and Research
Documentation and archiving of the study
Development Data Group
DDI editing, metadata distribution in the World Bank Microdata Catalog and IHSN Survey Catalog
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
- v01 (2016)
The metadata was documented by the Norwegian Centre for Research Data. It was downloaded on November 9, 2017 from http://nesstar.ess.nsd.uib.no/webview/index.jsp?v=2&submode=abstract&study=http%3A%2F%2F22.214.171.124%3A80%2Fobj%2FfStudy%2FESS8e01.0&mode=documentation&top=yes by the World Bank Microdata Library documentation team. The dataset and documents were downloaded on November 15, 2017 from http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/data/download.html?r=6
- v02 (November 2017)
Modifications in the study ID and DDI ID were done by the World Bank Microdata Library documentation team to match the standard used by the library and the IHSN Survey Catalog. Some metadata fields were edited, and additional metadata fields were added.