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More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Citizenship Survey
Citizenship Survey

Social, Civic and Cultural Engagement
Relevance for this Topic
Country United Kingdom
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Contact information

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
Eland House, Bressenden Place
SW1E 5DU London
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)303 444 0000
Email: contactus(at)

Timeliness, transparency

New data will not be available (survey discontinued)

Type of data


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): 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:

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:
For more information, see:

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.



The survey was conducted on a biennial basis in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007-2008. It moved to a continuous design in 2007 which means that data became available on a quarterly basis from April 2007. Quarter one data were collected between April and June; quarter two between July and September; quarter three between October and December and quarter four between January and March. Once collection for the four quarters was completed, a full aggregated dataset was made available, and the larger sample size allowed more detailed analysis. In January 2011, the DCLG announced that the Citizenship Survey was to close. As part of the drive to deliver cost savings across government and to reduce the fiscal deficit, research budgets were closely scrutinised to identify where savings can be made. For this reason, and the belief that priority data from this survey could either be dropped; collected less frequently; or collected via other means, the survey was cancelled. Fieldwork concluded on 31 March 2011, followed by publication of reports in the months after analysis of that data. Number of units sampled in 2010/2011: 16,966 [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.]


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

Multi-stage stratified random sample. [The survey is conducted with a core, nationally representative, sample, plus a minority ethnic boost sample, achieved through direct screening and focused enumeration.]

Countries (England, Wales) Government Office Regions (NUTS1)

Adults aged 16 years and over

Representative of adults aged 16 years and over, resident in (private) households in England and Wales. The data include weighting variables. For example, in 2010/2011, the core sample is weighted to be representative of national population in terms of key demographics. The weighting ensures that the sample matches the census population figures in terms of their age, sex and regional distribution. Non-response weights are derived using a logistic regression model approach including the same set of covariates at each quarter. This will provide more stable weights over time. Four sets of weights are calculated to allow analysis of the 2009-2010 dataset using both the core and combined (core plus boosts) sample at the individual and household levels. In addition there are four sets of weights for each of the separate quarters Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4. (See documentation for additional information.)

The Citizenship Survey (known in the field as the Communities Study) ran from 2001 to 2010-2011. It began as the 'Home Office Citizenship Survey' (HOCS) before the responsibility moved to the new Communities and Local Government department (DCLG) in May 2006. The survey provided an evidence base for the work of DCLG, principally on the issues of community cohesion, civic engagement, race and faith, and volunteering. The survey was used extensively for developing policy and for performance measurement. It was also used more widely, by other government departments and external stakeholders to help inform their work around the issues covered in the survey. The 2010-2011 survey covered: • identity and social networks • local community • influencing decisions and local affairs • volunteering • objective empowerment • race • religion • rights and responsibilities • mixing (socially, between people of different backgrounds) • respect • self-identity • violent extremism (data not included in the 2010-2011 dataset - DCLG are investigating publishing this in the future) • media usage • demographics, parts 1 and 2

• Department for Education. “Citizenship Survey young person module: technical report for pilot study.” Research Report DFE-RR094A (2011). Available at:
• Farmer, C. “2003 Home Office Citizenship Survey: top-level findings from the children's and young people's survey.” Home Office/DfES, London, 2005. • Prime, D., Zimmeck, M., & Zurawan, A. “Active communities: initial findings from the 2001 Home Office Citizenship Survey.” Home Office, London, 2002. Available at:
(webarchive link) •


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:
This survey uses a number of harmonised measures, including: • The hierarchy of community participation was adapted from the method used in the National Survey of Voluntary Activity, 1997 • Some questions on trust were adapted from the World Values Survey

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.

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


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