Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS)
Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS)

Topic
Social Systems and Welfare
Public Attitudes towards Older Age
Relevance for this Topic
Country United Kingdom
URL
More Topics

Governance

Contact information

Office for National Statistics
Customer Contact Centre
Government Buildings, Cardiff Road
NP10 8XG Newport, South Wales
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 1633 455678.
Email: info(at)statistics.gsi.gov.uk
Url: http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/

Timeliness, transparency

Data are available about 12 months after the end of fieldwork

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

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
A Special Licence (SL) version of the WAS, which contains more detailed data, is available from the UK Data Service. The SL version is subject to more stringent access conditions. The Office for National Statistics has provided information on the differences between the standard End User Licence (EUL) version and the SL version, (see the UK Data Service website). Users are advised to download the EUL version first to see if it is suitable for their needs, before beginning the application process for the SL version. 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

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
A Special Licence (SL) version of the WAS, which contains more detailed data, is available from the UK Data Service. The SL version is subject to more stringent access conditions. The Office for National Statistics has provided information on the differences between the standard End User Licence (EUL) version and the SL version, (see the UK Data Service website). Users are advised to download the EUL version first to see if it is suitable for their needs, before beginning the application process for the SL version. 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 Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) is a longitudinal survey, which aims to address gaps identified in data about the economic wellbeing of households by gathering information on level of assets, savings and debt; saving for retirement; how wealth is distributed among households or individuals; and factors that affect financial planning. Private households in Great Britain were sampled for the survey (meaning that people in residential institutions, such as retirement homes, nursing homes, prisons, barracks or university halls of residence, and also homeless people were not included). The WAS commenced in July 2006, with a first wave of interviews carried out over two years, to June 2008. Interviews were achieved with 30,595 households at Wave 1. Those households were approached again for a Wave 2 interview between July 2008 and June 2010, and 20,170 households took part. The third wave will cover July 2010 - June 2012; currently, only data from Waves 1 and 2 are available from the UK Data Archive. [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.]


2006


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) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data are available under Special License.


All adults aged 16 years and over (excluding those aged 16-18 currently in full-time education)


Representative of all adults aged 16 years and over (excluding those aged 16-18 currently in full-time education) who consented to be interviewed in each responding (private) household in Great Britain, (between 2006-2010). Communal establishments were excluded from the sample. The data include weighting variables


The economic wellbeing of households is sometimes measured by their income; this ignores the fact that a household's resources can be influenced by their stock of wealth. The increase in home ownership, the move from traditional roles and working patterns, a higher proportion of the population now owning shares and contributing to investment schemes as well as the accumulation of wealth of over the life cycle, particularly through pension participation, have all contributed to the changing composition of wealth. To understand the economic wellbeing of households it is increasingly necessary to look further than a simple measure of household income. The WAS aims to address gaps identified in data about the economic wellbeing of households by gathering information on, among others, level of assets, savings and debt; saving for retirement; how wealth is distributed among households or individuals; and factors that affect financial planning. The WAS questionnaire was divided into two parts with all adults aged 16 years and over (excluding those aged 16 to 18 currently in full-time education) being interviewed in each responding household. Wave 1 files are provided according to this structure; Wave 2 files are grouped in terms of finance, pensions and property. Household schedule: This was completed by one person in the household (usually the head of household or their partner) and predominantly collected household level information such as the number, demographics and relationship of individuals to each other, as well as information about the ownership, value and mortgages on the residence and other household assets. Individual schedule: This was given to each adult in the household and asked questions about economic status, education and employment, business assets, benefits and tax credits, saving attitudes and behaviour, attitudes to debt, insolvency, major items of expenditure, retirement, attitudes to saving for retirement, pensions, financial assets, non-mortgage debt, investments and other income.


• Black, O. “Wealth in Great Britain: main results from the Wealth and Assets Survey 2008/10.” Office for National Statistics, Newport, 2011. Available at: www.ons.gov.uk/.../pra---was-wave-2--part-1-.pdf
. • Daffin, C. “Wealth in Great Britain: main results from the Wealth and Assets Survey 2006/08.” Office for National Statistics, Newport, 2009.

Coverage


The Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) is a longitudinal survey, which aims to address gaps identified in data about the economic wellbeing of households by gathering information on level of assets, savings and debt; saving for retirement; how wealth is distributed among households or individuals; and factors that affect financial planning. Private households in Great Britain were sampled for the survey (meaning that people in residential institutions, such as retirement homes, nursing homes, prisons, barracks or university halls of residence, and also homeless people were not included). The WAS commenced in July 2006, with a first wave of interviews carried out over two years, to June 2008. Interviews were achieved with 30,595 households at Wave 1. Those households were approached again for a Wave 2 interview between July 2008 and June 2010, and 20,170 households took part. The third wave will cover July 2010 - June 2012; currently, only data from Waves 1 and 2 are available from the UK Data Archive. [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.]


2006


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) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data are available under Special License.


All adults aged 16 years and over (excluding those aged 16-18 currently in full-time education)


Representative of all adults aged 16 years and over (excluding those aged 16-18 currently in full-time education) who consented to be interviewed in each responding (private) household in Great Britain, (between 2006-2010). Communal establishments were excluded from the sample. The data include weighting variables


The economic wellbeing of households is sometimes measured by their income; this ignores the fact that a household's resources can be influenced by their stock of wealth. The increase in home ownership, the move from traditional roles and working patterns, a higher proportion of the population now owning shares and contributing to investment schemes as well as the accumulation of wealth of over the life cycle, particularly through pension participation, have all contributed to the changing composition of wealth. To understand the economic well-being of households it is increasingly necessary to look further than a simple measure of household income. The WAS aims to address gaps identified in data about the economic wellbeing of households by gathering information on, among others, level of assets, savings and debt; saving for retirement; how wealth is distributed among households or individuals; and factors that affect financial planning. The WAS questionnaire was divided into two parts with all adults aged 16 years and over (excluding those aged 16 to 18 currently in full-time education) being interviewed in each responding household. Wave 1 files are provided according to this structure; Wave 2 files are grouped in terms of finance, pensions and property. Household schedule: This was completed by one person in the household (usually the head of household or their partner) and predominantly collected household level information such as the number, demographics and relationship of individuals to each other, as well as information about the ownership, value and mortgages on the residence and other household assets. Individual schedule: This was given to each adult in the household and asked questions about economic status, education and employment, business assets, benefits and tax credits, saving attitudes and behaviour, attitudes to debt, insolvency, major items of expenditure, retirement, attitudes to saving for retirement, pensions, financial assets, non-mortgage debt, investments and other income.


• Black, O. “Wealth in Great Britain: main results from the Wealth and Assets Survey 2008/10.” Office for National Statistics, Newport, 2011. Available at: www.ons.gov.uk/.../pra---was-wave-2--part-1-.pdf
. • Daffin, C. “Wealth in Great Britain: main results from the Wealth and Assets Survey 2006/08.” Office for National Statistics, Newport, 2009.


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


Data are anonymised

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


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. 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. Further information is not readily available.


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.

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. 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. Further information is not readily available.


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

Applicability


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