Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Welfare state survey 2010
Välfärdsstatsundersökningarna (1986 - 2010)

Social Systems and Welfare
Relevance for this Topic
Country Sweden
More Topics


Contact information

Stellan Svallfors and Jonas Edlund/ Department of sociology
University of Umeå
901 87 Umeå
Phone: +46-90-7865560
Fax: +46-90-7865560
Email: Stefan.svallfors(at)

Timeliness, transparency

Type of data


Type of Study

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

Cross-section, occasional

Data gathering method

Self-administered questionnaire

Access to data

Downloadable files, DVD/CD after agreement. On-line access to more general statistics.

Conditions of access

Agreement with Principal Investigator.

Two to four months.

Data set compatible to various applications; e.g. Excel, SAS, SPSS, STATA, Text, etc.

Datasets are available both in Swedish and English.


Data collected in 1986 with a sample size of 7,000 people. Data collected in 1992 with a sample size of 7,000 people. Data collected in 1997 with a sample size of 7,000 people. Data collected in 2002 with a sample size of 7,000 people. Data collected in 2010 with a sample size of 7,000 people.


Random sample

The whole country.

Individuals aged 18 – 79 and residing in Sweden

The series examines the Swedes' attitudes to welfare policy. A number of questions also exist in the ISSP survey conducted each year in several countries. In the survey, respondents indicate the degree to which they agreed with a number of statements taken from the current Swedish debate. They also state their views and experience with public spending and social services, how they considered the various activities to be funded and which ones are best suited to manage the different activities. A number of questions dealt with the social insurance and how the respondents felt that the responsibility should be shared between the individual and the public when it comes to paying these insurance policies. Another battery of questions considered the opinions of the Swedish taxes, the tax burden in general and for different income groups, and attitude towards not declaring any income and therefore paying less in income tax. Attention was also paid to choices between public and private welfare services. Socio-economic background data include employment, trade union affiliation, education, political preference, housing, income, marital status, spouse's/partner's employment and income, number of children in the household and parents' nationality.

• Kulin, J., & Svallfors, S. “Class, values, and attitudes towards redistribution: a European comparison.” European Sociological Review 29(2) (2013): 155-167. • Svallfors, S. “Capitalist Diversity on Europe’s Periphery, by Dorothee Bohle and Béla Greskovits.” Perspectives on Politics, 11 (2013): 662-664. • Svallfors, S. “The withering of the Welfare State: Regression.” Journal of Social Policy 42 (2013): 424-425 • Svallfors, S. “Welfare Attitudes in Europe and Beyond: Welfare Attitudes in Europe and Beyond.” Stanford University Press, Stanford (2012). • Svallfors, S. “Welfare attitudes in Europe: Topline results from round 4 of the European social survey.” ESS Topline Results Series; 2, Umeå University (2012). For further reading, please refer to:


ISCED codes.

The research is to a large extent built on self-produced databases, with data from a number of different countries and time periods. The strong research environment is the Swedish participant in the comparative attitude surveys “International Social Survey Program” (ISSP) and “European Social Survey” (ESS), and is responsible for the national “Panel Survey of Ageing and the Elderly”.

Data quality

No major entry errors.

Good comparability between 1986 and 2010, but also thematic topics added over the years.

High level of consistency.


The strength of the study is the possibility to follow and analyse welfare attitudes over time and relate it to current political development and future orientation. These studies have also high relevance in policy context where the resources, structures and forms of delivery of welfare services are subject to major institutional changes. The policy relevance is very high. So is also the scientific relevance, but there are methodological problems, e.g. response rates, etc. (The Welfare state survey 2010 SND 1.0, 2012-04-10 165 variables; 3,842 cases; 55% response frequency. 2010-03-05 - 2010-06-15 (Self-completed questionnaire: Paper/pencil))

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