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European Social Survey

The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically driven cross-national survey that has been conducted every two years across Europe since 2001.

The survey measures the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of diverse populations in more than thirty nations. The main aims of the ESS are:

  • to chart stability and change in social structure, conditions and attitudes in Europe and to interpret how Europe’s social, political and moral fabric is changing
  • to achieve and spread higher standards of rigour in cross-national research in the social sciences, including for example, questionnaire design and pre-testing, sampling, data collection, reduction of bias and the reliability of questions
  • to introduce soundly-based indicators of national progress, based on citizens’ perceptions and judgements of key aspects of their societies
  • to undertake and facilitate the training of European social researchers in comparative quantitative measurement and analysis
  • to improve the visibility and outreach of data on social change among academics, policy makers and the wider public

The ESS data is available free of charge for non-commercial use and can be downloaded from this webiste after a short registration.

The ESS ERIC subscribes to the Declaration on Ethics of the International Statistical Institute.

Following an application to the European Commission which was submitted by the UK on behalf of 14 other countries, the ESS was awarded European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status on 30th November 2013.

The Director of the ESS ERIC is Rory Fitzgerald and the ESS ERIC headquarters are located at City University London.

In 2005 the ESS was the winner of the Descartes Prize for Research & Science Communication.

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