Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

The SOM Institute Cumulative Dataset 1986-2011
SOM-undersökningen

Topic
Social, Civic and Cultural Engagement
Relevance for this Topic
Country Sweden
URL
More Topics

Governance

Contact information

Henrik Oscarsson
SOM-Institute / University of Gothenburg
P.O.Box 710 / Seminariegatan 1B
405 30 / 413 13 Göteburg
Sweden
Phone: +46-31 786 3300
Fax: +46-31 786 4780
Email: henrik.oscarsson(at)pol.gu.se
Url: www.som.gu.se/.../

Timeliness, transparency

An annual report of the SOM-study is published in early summer the year after the survey. SOM is also open to various agencies/organisations to make their own focussed studies. Information on the project is available on website.

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of random or different samples

Cross-section, regular

Data gathering method

Self-administered questionnaire


Access to data


The data is not publicly available; so far, there is limited use for international comparison. For further information, contact the principal investigator.

Conditions of access


Commissioned surveys (sectoral, regional, etc.) can be done after an agreement is made and paid by the contracting agency, etc. Use of data has to be discussed with the principal investigator.


Between two and four months.


Anonymised microdata and aggregated tables.


Data set is compatible with Excel, SAS, SPSS, STATA, Text, etc


Information is available in Swedish and English.


Coverage


Super SOM contains data from the National SOM study, an annually repeated, cross-sectional, self-administered, mail survey conducted in Sweden since 1986 (for further information see Scope & Coverage). The data contains a selection of questions frequently asked over the years, focusing on time series. A general rule is that questions should have been asked at least three times. Age sample frame (Year: Age interval): 1986-1991: 15-75 years 1992-1997: 15-80 years 1998: 16-80 years (note 1) 1999: 15-80 years 2000-2008: 15-85 years 2009-: 16-85 years Citizenship: 1986: the sample included both Swedish and foreign citizens living in Sweden. 1987-1988: only Swedish citizens. 1989: both Swedish and foreign citizens. 1990-1991: only Swedish citizens. 1992-: the sample included both Swedish and foreign citizens living in Sweden. Total sample size (Year: Number of individuals): 1986-1991: 2,500 1992-1995: 2,800 1996: 2,841 (note 2) 1997: 2,800 1998-1999: 5,600 2000-2005: 6,000 2006: 6,050 (note 3) 2007-2008: 6,000 2009-: 9,000


1986


Various sectoral or regional studies can be performed.


In order to identify how the evolution of society affects Swedes’ attitudes and behaviour, the SOM Institute started its National SOM study in 1986. National SOM addresses three areas – society, opinions and mass media – and consists of three parallel surveys since 2009. All three surveys include a large number of questions related to politics, society, media and social background, but their areas of focus differ. Every year, the questionnaires are complemented with questions related to current events. Each partial survey is nationally representative and includes a sample of 3000 individuals aged 16–85. Each questionnaire consists of 18–20 pages. The field work starts in mid-September each year and, following a series of reminders distributed via post and telephone, ends in January of the following year.


The whole country.


Population aged 16 - 85


Initially, the survey was carried out as part of a few research projects at the University of Gothenburg. Since the results of the survey ended up receiving a great deal of attention, the SOM Institute was established. Its main task was to conduct a new survey every autumn. The resulting time series is unique of its kind. Every year, the questionnaires are complemented with questions related to current events. In 2009, the complementary questions concerned the swine flu and how the media handled the pandemic. Each partial survey is nationally representative and includes a sample of 3,0003000 individuals aged 16–85. Each questionnaire consists of 18–20 pages. The field work starts in mid-September each year and, following a series of reminders distributed via post and telephone, ends in January of the following year. National SOM addresses three areas – society, opinions and mass media – and consists of a large number of questions related to politics, society, media and social background, but their areas of focus differ. Every year, the questionnaires are complemented with questions related to current events. Topics relevant for MYBL are cultural activities and participation, employment/unemployment, public health, leisure and sport, social attitudes and behaviour, welfare policies. The SOM Institute Cumulative Dataset contains data from the National SOM surveys from 1986. The data contains a selection of questions frequently asked over the years, focusing on time series. A general rule is that questions should have been asked at least three times.


www.som.gu.se/.../


Linkage


Not applicable


There are good possibilities to connect with other Swedish data-bases.


Data quality


The response rates of surveys in social science have a falling curve over the last decades. The response rate for SOM between 1986 and 2012 is on average 65%. The annual report provides an in-depth analyses of response rates and initiatives taken to increase the response rate. Last year, respondents could choose between a paper questionnaire or a digital model.


There has been a continuous development of the method since 1986, but the main objective has been to apply a sustainable and robust methodological approach. There has also been an expansion in contract- studies based on regional or sectoral approaches.


A codebook of more than 800 pages is available on the web site.


Applicability


The SOM-dataset provides a unique possibility to study stability and change with regard to attitudes towards media, agencies, actors, political life and values over almost three decades in Sweden. The SOM-model is also flexible in focussing new themes in society or in comparison over time. A weakness is the response rate, but in a comparative perspective, the SOM-institute manages to keep a rather good response rate. Another strength is that the study gives rich opportunities for young scholars (both master students and doctoral students) to use the empirical base for various research studies. Every year, the SOM institute publishes a book in which the researchers present their results and analyses and, as far as possible, discuss observed long-term trends with respect to opinions and media. Each book also includes extensive documentation of the survey per se. Every year, the Institute also publishes a large number of reports. All publications are made available (in Swedish) via the SOM Institute’s website.


  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Kenneth Abrahamsson
  • (see Partners)