Understanding Society: Findings 2012 A complex and fascinating portrait of society

Understanding Society: Findings 2012 paints a complex and fascinating portrait of a society suffering the effects of the deepest recession since the early 1990s and in which young people have been hard hit.

Published in February 2012, it draws mainly on information gathered during the first two years of the survey (2009-2010), including some early glimpses at the longitudinal information from households which have completed two interviews.

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Findings include:

  • People, particularly men, rely heavily on their partners or wives for social support
  • The UK is much more diverse in its population make-up than was previously believed
  • Young people are, on the whole, well-behaved and happy
  • Policies to widen access to higher education appear to have failed
  • Perceived employment discrimination among ethnic minorities is extremely low


  1. Preface and Introduction
  2. Social Support from Family and Friends
  3. Revisiting the ‘Doing Gender’ Hypothesis – Housework Hours of Husbands and Wives in the UK
  4. Does Your Mother Know? Staying Out Late and Risky Behaviours Among 10-15 Year-Olds
  5. Happiness and Health-related Behaviours in Adolescence
  6. How Diverse is the UK?
  7. Employment and Perceived Racial Discrimination
  8. Understanding Remittances in Understanding Society: Quantifying Ties Overseas and Ties to Britain
  9. How Mobile are Immigrants, After Arriving in the UK?
  10. Moving Home: Wishes, Expectations and Reasons
  11. Higher Education and Social Background
  12. Job-related Stress, Working Time and Work Schedules
  13. Employment Transitions and the Recession
  14. Sports Participation of Adults
  15. Measuring well-being: What you ask is what you get – or is it?