Understanding Society is a longitudinal household panel study. The Study started in 2009 and follows on from the British Household Panel Study which ran from 1991-2008. Taken together, the two Studies currently provide researchers with data on households in the UK spanning 27 years.
As an introduction to the Understanding Society main study data and documentation we particularly recommend watching the videos Exploring Understanding Society, Data Structure and Selecting Weights, along with the following reading:
- Variable descriptions and search facility. Find the variables you need for your research by searching by variable name, by data file or by index term. This facility provides links between questions, variables and data files. Our list of key variables for the analysis of individual response data may also help you.
- Index Terms cover all the thematic areas in the Study. Use the Index to identify the variables most relevant to your research interests and to find other variables with related data throughout the dataset.
- Content highlights and notes on variable naming conventions. These tell you what's new for Wave 9 and how the data in each wave are named.
- Example syntax files show you how to perform common data management tasks like matching household and individual data files, producing long format individual level file for a number of waves, etc.
- Our training courses and user support for users. If you're starting out, you can ask to speak with someone from our team directly via our online helpdesk. If you want to examine more complex data questions visit our User Support Forum or chat with other researchers via our Jiscmail discussion list.
Exploring the data
This video covers where to go for help in using the Study and what information is available for researchers on our website.