Citizenship Survey


Main uses

The Citizenship Survey focuses on (and is limited to) issues about society.  As such, it asks questions about peoples’ interactions with others and their views about others.

The survey also includes a substantial number of questions relating to issues of ethnicity and race and, to make these results statistically meaningful, it includes a substantial number of people/households from ethnic minorities in the survey.


In summary:

  • Available from: UK data archive.
  • Registration required: yes.
  • First survey available: 2001.
  • Frequency: annual.
  • Updated: February.
  • Scope: England and Wales.
  • Format: SPSS.
  • Files: 1 file per year, comprising a record per household.
  • Documentation: user manual, but this does not include definitions of the derived variables.
  • Weighted or unweighted: weighted.
  • Household income data: no

General issues

Which software to use

As the annual dataset is around 15,000 records, it can be exported into Excel.

What weights to use

There are four weights, two for the core sample and two for the whole sample including the additional ethnic minority individuals survey respondents.  Use the core weights unless the analysis is by ethnicity or religion.

Of the two core weights, one is an individual (respondent) weight and the other is a household weight.  Use the individual weight unless the analysis is specifically counting households.

What particular fields mean

The precise meaning of particular fields is not always clear from their descriptions, which are very brief.  Furthermore, many of the variables are derived (i.e. calculated from the combined answers from multiple questions) and the user manual does not include definitions for these variables.  And, because they are derived from multiple questions, their definitions cannot be easily obtained by looking at the questionnaire.  Finally, the phrasing of fields sometimes changes from year to year.  Together, these factors mean that it is not always easy to decide precisely what a particular field means.

To illustrate by example: some of the fields about volunteering refer to “at least once a month” whilst others refer to “in the last month”.  Whilst these two phrases clearly mean something different in the English language, close examination of the questionnaire, user manual and other Home Office publications suggest that these two phrases are actually being used interchangeably, in both cases to mean “at least once a month”.

Relevant graphs on this website

UK graphs

Because the dataset is for England and Wales only, the graphs below are also for England and Wales only.

Indicator Graphs Comments
Dissatisfaction with local area fifth The questions vary a bit from year to year, so decisions need to be made about whether to use the latest year’s results only or to average across years for those questions which are repeated across years.
Non-participation third Exclude ’employer volunteering’ to make the latest data comparable with that for the earlier years.
fourth Include ’employer volunteering’  as this gives a total measure of volunteering.