Browse our most popular datasets, by data type.
These UK surveys can be used to produce national estimates.
They can all be used to describe a population at one point of time and most can be used to compare populations at more than one time point. Many are large surveys that are used to inform policy.
The English Housing Survey was formed by merging the Survey of English Housing and English House Condition Survey. It is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that collects information from 17,000 households annually on housing circumstances.
The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is a continuous survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics and National Centre for Social Research with an annual target sample of 24,000 private households. Respondents are asked a wide range of questions about their financial circumstances including receipt of Social Security benefits, housing costs, assets and savings.
Households Below Average Income (HBAI) uses household disposable incomes, after adjusting for the household size and composition, as a proxy for material living standards. More precisely, it is a proxy for the level of consumption of goods and services that people could attain given the disposable income of the household in which they live. The main source of data used in this study is the Family Resources Survey, which is a continuous cross-sectional survey.
The Northern Ireland Family Expenditure Survey (FES) was a continuous survey of household expenditure and income that started in 1967 and linked with the Great Britain FES in 1968 to create a UK survey. It was superceded in 2001 by the Expenditure and Food Survey. For most of its existence, data are available for both the UK and separately for Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey is carried out by the Central Survey Unit of the Northern Ireland Research and Statistics Agency (NISRA). It is closely related to the Great Britain survey and feeds into UK statistics. The data are also available separately for Northern Ireland from 1995-2000.
In 2008 the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) replaced the Scottish Crime and Victimisation Survey (following the Scottish Crime Survey). It asks about experiences and perceptions of crime in Scotland. It currently involves interviewing a selected adult in 16,000 households across Scotland annually.
The Survey of English Housing (SEH) was a continuous annual survey series which began in 1993 and had a sample of 20,000 responding households each year. It provided information on tenure, owner occupation, social rented and private rented accommodation. It was superceded by the English Housing Survey (EHS) in 2008.
Cross-national surveys typically refer to studies where the same survey instrument and - where practical - methods and fieldwork protocols are used across many nations.
We hold several surveys of this type and point users to where they can access other key cross-national surveys online.
The European Company Survey (ECS) (formerly the Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance (ESWT)) aims to map working time policies and practices at the level of the establishment in the European Union and to survey the views of the different actors at establishment level on these policies and practices.
The European Values Study and World Values Survey series are designed to enable a cross-national, cross-cultural comparison of values and norms on a wide variety of topics and to monitor changes in values and attitudes across the globe. The surveys provide data from representative national samples of the publics of more than 90 countries and cover a full range of social, economic, cultural and religious variation.
The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) is a continuing annual programme of cross-national collaboration on surveys covering topics important for social science research. Every survey includes questions about general attitudes toward various social issues such as the legal system, gender, and the economy.
Longitudinal studies involve repeated observations of the same subjects, allowing researchers to analyse change at the individual level.
The UK is home to several key longitudinal studies, including major panel and internationally-renowned cohort studies.
The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) follows the lives of more than 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970. Over the course of cohort members' lives, the BCS70 has has broadened from a strictly medical focus at birth to collect information on health, physical, educational and social development, and economic circumstances among other factors.
The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) study is a longitudinal survey of ageing and quality of life among older people. It explores the dynamic relationships between health and functioning, social networks and participation, and economic position as people plan for, move into and progress beyond retirement.
The National Child Development Study (NCDS) is a continuing longitudinal study that seeks to follow the lives of all those living in Great Britain who were born in one particular week in 1958. Conducted by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), the aim of the study is to improve understanding of the factors affecting human development over the whole lifespan.
Our international macrodata contain socio-economic time series data aggregated to a country or regional level for a range of countries over a substantial time period.
Many of the databanks are the current releases of the major statistical publications produced by intergovernmental organisations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The Eurostat New Cronos database contains high quality macroeconomic and social statistics time series data from 1950 onwards for the 25 European Union (EU) Member states and in many cases for the central European countries, Japan, the United States and the main economic partners of the EU.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions from Fuel Combustion database provides a comparative analysis of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, a major source of anthropogenic emissions. The data are designed to assist in understanding the evolution of these emissions on a country, regional and worldwide basis.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Coal Information database contains worldwide coal statistics covering production, trade, use in transformation (electricity and heat production) and final consumption in industry and other sectors from 1960 onwards.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Electricity Information database contains a time series of electricity statistics of OECD countries for supply, consumption, trade, capacity and price, and some projection data corresponding to the data shown in Part II of the annual IEA publication Electricity Information.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy Prices and Taxes database contains a major international compilation of energy prices at all market levels: import prices, industry prices and consumer prices. The statistics cover import costs and export prices of main petroleum products, natural gas and coal in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and some none OECD countries.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy Technology Research and Development Database contains annual time series from 1974 onwards and is divided into two parts: i) Government Energy Technology R and D Budgets and ii) Economic Indicators (used for deflating and currency conversion).
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Natural Gas Information database contains time series of annual gas supply balances for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD countries from 1960 onwards.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Oil Information database contains time series of oil data for 30 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, from 1960 onwards.
This dataset contains projections (1960 - 2040) for 28 International Energy Agency (IEA) countries that are collected directly from the Member countries for the series on Energy Policies of IEA Countries.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Renewables Information database contains complete time series of renewables and wastes statistics. The database contains time series of annual renewables and wastes data for OECD countries from 1990 onwards.
This database contains energy balances for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and some non OECD countries. Detailed energy balances are provided in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe).
This database contains basic energy statistics for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and some non OECD countries. Data are provided for energy supply and consumption in original units for various types of coal, oil, gas, renewables and waste, as well as for electricity and heat.
The IMF Balance of payment data (BOPS) record the flows of goods, services and finance between an economy and the rest of the world.
The Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS) contains data on the value of merchandise exports and imports between each country and all its trading partners. Total bilateral and multilateral exports and imports are aggregated at national or regional group level.
The IMF eLibrary offers the entire catalogue of IMF publications in several digital formats. It is an indispensable tool for economics research and analysis including over 10,000 periodicals, books and working papers from 1951 onwards containing information and perspective on macroeconomics, globalisation, development, trade and aid, technical assistance, demographics, emerging markets, policy advice, poverty reduction and more.
The IMF Government Finance Statistics (GFS) contains annual data on revenue income by source (tax, lending, bonds, etc), and expenditure by sector (defence, education, health, etc) for all levels of government (national, state, local).
International Financial Statistics (IFS) is the International Monetary Fund’s principal statistical publication and is the standard source for all aspects of international and domestic finance. It reports, for most countries, time series data on exchange rates, balance of payments, international liquidity, money and banking, interest rates, prices, production, international transactions, government accounts, national accounts and population.
The IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) database contains selected macroeconomic data series from the statistical appendix of the World Economic Outlook report, which presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups and in many individual countries.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Education Statistics database contains an up-to-date array of comparative education statistics and indicators from OECD and non-OECD countries. It provides information on the human and financial resources invested in education, on access to, progression and completion of education, on how education and learning systems operate, and on the returns to educational investments.
Published annually by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the International Development (Debt and Aid) Statistics provide up-to-date comparative statistics and information on international development from 1975 onwards
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International Direct Investment Statistics database provides annual statistics from 1980 onwards on international direct investment to and from the OECD area.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International Migration Statistics include data on foreign and immigrant populations, foreign workers, migration flows and naturalisations for OECD member countries and others for a variety of periods from 1980 onwards.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International Trade by Commodities Statistics (ITCS) database contains annual time-series data from 1961 onwards on foreign trade of the OECD member countries and selected non-OECD countries. It provides detailed data on commodity and partner country in value and in quantity.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Main Economic Indicators (MEI) presents annual, quarterly and monthly data for a wide range of short-term economic indicators for OECD Member countries and for a number of Non-Member countries.
The Main Science and Technology Indicators database contains 151 main data series selected from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Scientific and Technological Indicators database for 30 OECD member countries and nine non-member countries.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Measuring Globalisation Statistics database contains figures on foreign affiliates by investing country in the manufacturing sector, covering variables such as number of enterprises, total employees, gross output, imports/exports, gross fixed capital formation and Research and Development expenditures.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) National Accounts presents a series of databases all containing data related to national accounts and their components including comparable statistics for key indicators from 1995 onwards. Countries covered vary but generally include OECD countries and a select group of non-OECD countries.
The annually updated Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Services Statistics series runs from 1970 and comprises two databases: 'Statistics on Value Added and Employment', which includes national accounts statistics on output (gross value added) and employment in service activities, and 'Statistics on International Trade in Services' which covers trade in services.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Social and Welfare Statistics include internationally comparable statistics on public and private social expenditure at programme level. Previously called the OECD Social Expenditure Database, updated versions from Jan 2013 onwards will include include Pensions at a Glance data.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Structural Analysis (STAN) portfolio includes four databases each useful at different units of analyses. It can be used to analyse industrial structure and the evolution of industrial performance (e.g. import penetration, investment per employee, export market shares) within and across countries.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Industrial Demand-Supply Balance Database, 4-digit level of ISIC Revision 3 contains data on domestic output, apparent consumption, imports from the world, developing countries and industrialised countries, and exports to the world, developing countries and industrialised countries. It covers overs 90 countries from 1990 onwards.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) INDSTAT2 combines historical time series data starting 1963 for over 160 countries. The data are arranged at the 2-digit level of the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 3, pertaining to the manufacturing sector, which comprises 23 industries. INDSTAT2 provides data by a single classification standard for more than 40 years, which makes it particularly valuable for long-term structural analysis.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) INDSTAT4 database contains time series data from 1990 onwards. Data are available for country, year and ISIC at the 3- and 4-digit levels of ISIC (Revision 3), which comprises 151 manufacturing sectors and sub-sectors. All value data are originally stored in national currency at current prices. It covers over 130 countries from 1990 onwards.
The World Banks Africa Development Indicators (ADI) provide annual time series data for over 1,600 indicators for each country. Topics covered include national accounts, balance of payments, trade, prices and government finance and external debt with data on household welfare, demography, health, education, the regulatory environment, communications, transport, energy and the environment.
The World Bank International Debt Statistics (IDS), previously known as Global Development Finance, contains more than 200 debt and financial flows indicators for over 130 countries from 1970 onwards and covers external debt stocks and flows, major economic aggregates, and key debt ratios as well as average terms of new commitments, currency composition of long-term debt, debt restructuring, and scheduled debt service projections.
The World Bank World Development Indicators (WDI) contain statistical data for over 600 development indicators for over 200 countries and 18 country groups running from 1960 onwards. The extensive collection of development data includes social, economic, financial, natural resources and environmental indicators.
The population census is a vital resource for social scientific research and policy development, providing a snapshot of demographic and social life in the UK that helps inform government policy at local and central level.
We hold a range of different types of census data, see our Census support site for more information.
Aggregate data provide area counts, usually of individuals or households with particular characteristics.
Census flow data (also known as interaction data) are data that relate to flows of people between places.
We provide access to census microdata, which are individual level data. Large samples of census records have been drawn and anonymised and are known as the Samples of Anonymised Records (SARs).
We provide access to digitised boundary datasets and geographic look-up tables corresponding to the census geography of the UK. Digital boundaries are provided in common Geographical Information System (GIS) formats.
The UK Data Service provides access to a large collection of business microdata, provided by the Office for National Statistics. These data are relatively identifiable, and can therefore be accessed through a Secure Access route (see Secure Access).
The data are collected through a wide range of surveys (and some administrative sources), and cover:
Almost all of the data are collected using the sampling frame of the Inter-Departmental Business Register. It is therefore possible to combine data for the same company from two or more surveys, increasing the range of research and hypotheses that can be tested.
Unlike business microdata that can be downloaded (such as from Companies House), these data are more detailed and, as they are collected under the Statistics of Trade Act 1947, can only be accessed in a secure setting to ensure confidentiality.
Please use Discover to search for business microdata:
The Annual Respondents Database (ARD) is a widely-used source of information about business organisations. Sourced from a number of surveys, the series begins in the early 1970s by providing productivity data for manufacturing firms in the UK. Other sectors including retail, services, catering, construction, property, motoring and wholesale were added from the late 1990s onwards.
The data also include limited information, such as employment and industrial classification, at the 'plant' level (for example branches, manufacturing plants) belonging to the same company.
The dataset contains over 1000 variables, and in particular, a firm-level measure of productivity (gross value added).
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), is a large panel survey of employees' hours of work and wages collected from organisations in Great Britain for just under 1% of workers (approximately 150,000 - 160,000 observations) per year.
ASHE replaced the New Earnings Survey in 2002, to include data from the self-employed and more accurate weighting instruments. The survey data are considered more accurate than other labour market surveys because the wage data are provided by employers, rather than individual workers. Data on bonus payments and overtime are also included.
The data can also be combined with other business microdata collected by the Office for National Statistics. This has enabled studies of how business environments affect wage rates and hours of work, and vice versa.
The Business Database (BSD) is an annual extract of the Inter-department Business Register (IDBR), a database of business organisations used throughout Government. Organisations that are registered for VAT or pay at least one member of staff through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax system, will appear on this register.
It is therefore one of the largest sources of data about business organisations in the UK. The BSD snapshot contains limited information (turnover, employment, industrial classification for example), but offers researchers an enormous sample of observations to work with. The inclusion of demographic variables (including company start-up date and wind-down) also provides insights into business cycles.
The UK Innovation Survey collects data from organisations, designed to capture advances in innovative activity. This includes innovations in: production; new goods and services; markets in which businesses operate.
The survey also collects information about expenditure on innovative activities.
Qualitative data is non-numeric information, such as in-depth interview transcripts, diaries, anthropological field notes, answers to open-ended survey questions, audio-visual recordings and images. Mixed methods approaches combine qualitative data with numeric data.
The 'Affluent Worker' project was undertaken to test empirically the thesis of working class embourgeoisement. The research studied the attitudes and behaviour of high wage earners in three mass or continous flow companies.
This study comprises 537 life story interviews which were recorded in the 1970s with a cross-national sample of people born before 1918 in the UK. These interviews formed the basis of the first national oral history project in the United Kingdom.
The Family Life of Old People study examined the growing perception that a breakdown in extended family networks was leaving old people isolated, and creating an increasing demand for residential care.
This research focused on crime and its relation to risk of victimisation and the suggestion that high-risk groups, in particular, young men, report lower fear than low-risk groups, in particular, older women.
In the late 1950s Peter Townsend undertook a national study which investigated the provision of long-stay institutional care for old people in England and Wales. The study sought to ask "Are long stay institutions for old people necessary in our society, and, if so, what form should they take?"
The central aim of the research was to investigate the underlying premises of UK neighbourhood crime policies through a comparative study of the responses to crime and disorder within both affluent and deprived neighbourhoods, the extent and nature of informal means of social control utilised by their residents and how collective efficacy is related to social capital and social cohesion.
The Poverty in The United Kingdom study aimed to collect comprehensive information on all forms of resources (including income and assets) and indicative information on deprivation and style of living in order to define and measure poverty among a representative sample of the population of the United Kingdom.
This project addressed the implication of the growth in concentration in food retailing in the UK – resulting from the consolidation and small store decline over the long term - with reference to its impact on consumer choice.
The Pioneers website offers an insight into the backgrounds of researchers, motivations for undertaking particular pieces of research and some interesting observations about studying sociology in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. A series of interviews were carried out with the pioneering researchers themselves and will be made available on the website.
Tuesday 17 December 2013: UKDS.Stat, Beyond 20/20 and IMF eLibrary Text Collection interfaces may be unavailable from 07.00 to 10.15 for maintenance.
Thursday 19 December 2013: IMF eLibrary Text Collection may be unavailable from 09.00 to 12.00 for service upgrade.