Understanding people's whole lives

Our study participants help us understand what real people think, experience and feel. 


Longitudinal studies help us understand what changes, and what doesn't, over a long period of time. 

Being part of a longitudinal study like Understanding Society is a long-term commitment for our participants. Every year they complete an interview which covers many aspects of their life, sharing information on their family life, work, community, education, health and income. We also ask them about their social and political attitudes and their opinions on key developments in the UK. As everyone in the household completes the interview, Understanding Society also allows us to see how different generations interact with each other and where people of different ages are experiencing different life challenges. 

Interviewing the same people every year allows us to build a unique picture of life in the UK

It shows us where things change and where things stay the same. Our new animation explains why following the same people is so important and why each person who is part of Understanding Society matters.