Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Family Resources Survey (FRS)
Family Resources Survey (FRS)

Topic
Social Systems and Welfare
Relevance for this Topic
Country United Kingdom
URL
More Topics

Governance

Contact information

Department for Work and Pensions
The Family Resources Survey, Professional Services Group, Surveys Branch
Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street
SW1H 9NA London
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7449 7341
Email: team.frs(at)dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Url: http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/

Timeliness, transparency

Data are available about 15-18 months after the end of fieldwork

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Cross-section, regular

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


Access to data


Data are available from the UK Data Service (previously the Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS): http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/ The website contains detailed information on conditions of access, and it is also possible to contact the UK Data Service by phone: +44 (0)1206 872143, or by email: help@ukdataservice.ac.uk

Conditions of access


Registration is required and standard UK Data Service conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in the End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service. Researchers based at a UK institution of higher or further education (UK HE/FE) can access the UK Data Service through their library. If you are outside the UK you will need to apply for a UK Data Archive username and password, and then register with the UK Data Service. In general, data required for non-commercial purposes can be downloaded at no cost. If data are requested on portable media, e.g. CD, handling and postage and packing fees will apply. See: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../charges.aspx
Safe Room access datasets for FRS data from 2005 are available in addition to the versions available under the standard End User Licence (EUL), (held under: Family Resources Survey, 2005-2011 and Households Below Average Income, 1994-2011: Safe Room Access). The Safe Room access data are currently only available to UK HE/FE applicants and for access from the UK Data Archive's Safe Room at the University of Essex, Colchester. Prospective users of the Safe Room access version of the FRS/HBAI (Households Below Average Income) will need to fulfil requirements additional to those associated with standard End User Licence datasets. For more information, see: ukdataservice.ac.uk/.../conditions.aspx


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


Survey data from the UK Data Service are usually available to download in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited (suitable for use in MS Excel) formats.


English


Coverage


The Family Resources Survey is a major study, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It provides facts and figures about the living conditions and resources of people in the UK today. The Family Resources Survey has been running since 1992. Prior to 2002/03 the survey covered Great Britain; from 2002/03 the survey was extended to cover the UK. The fieldwork for the survey in Northern Ireland is managed by the Department for Social Development (DSDNI) and is currently carried out by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. From April 2011 the target achieved sample size for GB was reduced by 5,000 households. Therefore the overall achieved sample size for the UK will be around 20,000 households. DWP have assessed that this still allows core outputs (such as measures of poverty and take up of income related benefits) from the FRS to be produced, though with slightly wider confidence intervals or ranges. [Note: Older people are represented in this data source (approximately) according to their proportion in the population. In 2011, over one third of the total UK population (and approximately 40 per cent of the adult population 16+) was aged 50 and over.]


1992


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is stratified.


Multi-stage stratified random sample


Countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data may be available under Special License.


All ages


Representative of the (private) household population in the UK (or Great Britain for older years) The data include weighting variables


The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is a major study, conducted on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. Running since 1992, the study provides facts and figures about the living conditions and resources of households in the United Kingdom. It is used by the Government to monitor the impact of policy changes and plan annual spending. The Department for Work and Pensions uses the information provided by this study to help plan how they will spend their annual budget of over £100 billion. Results from the study help the Department for Work and Pensions understand how different sections of the public are managing today. From the results the Department for Work and Pensions can assess what effect decisions about taxes and benefits might have on families and individuals. Also available is the FRS Individual Income Series. The Individual Income Series provides estimates of the individual income of men and women in Great Britain and changes in income over time. The data are derived directly from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) and the Households Below Average Income (HBAI).


• Department of Social Security. “Family Resources Survey statistics Great Britain 1993/94.” revised edition, February (1995). • Department of Social Security. “Family Resources Survey Great Britain 1994-95.” HMSO (1996). ISBN 0-11-762389-X. • Department of Social Security. “Family Resources Survey Great Britain 1995-96.” The Stationery Office (1997). ISBN 0-11-762537-X. • Department of Social Security. “Family Resources Survey Great Britain 1996-97.” Corporate Document Services (1998). ISBN 1-84123-047-2. • Department of Social Security. “Family Resources Survey Great Britain 1997-98.” Corporate Document Services (1999). ISBN 1-84123-117-7. • Department of Social Security. “Family Resources Survey Great Britain 1998-99.” Corporate Document Services (2000). ISBN 1-84123-237-8. • Department of Social Security/ONS. “Family Resources Survey Great Britain 1999-2000.” Corporate Document Services (2001). ISBN 1-84123-367-6. • Department for Work and Pensions/ONS. “Family Resources Survey: United Kingdom 2002-2003.” Department for Work and Pensions (2004). ISBN 1-84388-263-9. • Department for Work and Pensions/ONS. “Family Resources Survey: United Kingdom 2003-2004.” Department for Work and Pensions (2005). ISBN 1-84388-470-4. • Department for Work and Pensions/ONS. “Family Resources Survey: United Kingdom 2004-2005.” Department for Work and Pensions (2006). ISBN 1-84388-857-2. • Wilmot, A. “Family Resources Survey: technical report on the fifth survey year: April 1997 - March 1998.” ONS (1999). ISBN 1857743229.


Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html
This survey uses a number of harmonised measures like Standard Occupational Classification


Data are anonymised


Data quality


In addition to unit non-response, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of surveys and censuses. This data source is used to prepare official statistics, which are required to meet quality standards. These standards are monitored by the UK Statistics Authority, according to the statutory authority provided by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/.../index.html
For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


There are no major breaks for this data source.


In general, the consistency of this data source is very good. For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


Applicability


The following series are based on the Family Resources Survey: • Households Below Average Income (HBAI) uses household disposable incomes, adjusted for household size and composition, as a proxy for material living standards or, more precisely, for the level of consumption of goods and services that people could attain given the disposable income of the household in which they live. • Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up contains information on the take-up of the main income-related benefits in Great Britain: Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Jobseeker's Allowance (Income-Based). The report brings together information from DWP/Local Authority benefit records and the Family Resources Survey to provide estimates of take-up among the private household population in Great Britain. • Pensioners' Incomes Series contains estimates and interpretation of trends in the levels and sources of pensioners' incomes. • The Northern Ireland FRS is managed by the Department for Social Development (DSD) Northern Ireland. DSD produce a number of FRS based publications focussed on Northern Ireland. • Child Benefit and Tax Credit take-up rates, produced by HM Revenue and Customs, bring together administrative and survey data - including the Family Resources Survey - to calculate the proportion of those entitled to tax credits who claim them. • Disability prevalence estimates based on the FRS are produced annually by the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) and estimates are published on the ODI website. The estimates give an overview of the general demographics of disabled people in the UK. • Households without Access to Bank Accounts, produced by HM Treasury, shows figures and analyses of households that do not have access to bank accounts.


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