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Access our learning tools, shared user resources, related studies and flagship reports.


Resources available to researchers include our user statistics.

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ESS EduNet is a training resource for use in higher education. It is a social science laboratory where theoretical questions can be explored using high quality empirical data.

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ESS User Statistics

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The ESS User Statistics portal provides comprehensive insights into the use of data.

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Related Studies

In this section you will find information about data relevant to the European Social Survey (ESS) but not part of official data and documentation.

These studies have either directly fielded ESS questions, are developed in cooperation with the ESS, or have collected data with direct relevance to the ESS.

All links are with countries outside of the European Research Area.

Australian European Social Survey 2020

Australian European Social Survey 2020

The Australian National University (ANU) conducted ESS questions in an Australian context.

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General Social Survey 2008-12

The General Social Survey gathers data on contemporary American society.

GSS 2008-12
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Global partners

The ESS has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in place with several organisations across the world.

Global partners
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Conditions and how to apply

Information for Principal Investigators who would like their study to be considered.

Conditions and how to apply
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South African Social Attitudes Survey 2014

SASAS is a nationally representative, repeated cross-sectional survey that has been conducted since 2003.

SASAS 2014

Shared user resources

Shared user resources give access to resources or tools shared by the ESS user community. The resources are published here under the criteria that they have been included in peer-reviewed and published articles/publications. Their inclusion does not represent endorsement by ESS ERIC.

Developing a measure of socio-cultural origins

Anthony Heath, Silke L, Schneider and Sarah Butt developed a questionnaire item to measure ancestry for Round 7 (2014/15) of the ESS. Following a thorough evaluation of the item’s performance it was decided to include the ancestry item, with some modifications, as a permanent addition to the ESS core questionnaire from Round 8 (2016/17) onwards.

An article about the item’s development was published in 2016.


This report summarises findings from the evaluation conducted into the development and performance of the new ancestry item in ESS Round 7 and the recommendations made for the item’s further development and deployment. It also makes some suggestions on how to code derived variables for statistical analysis. The evaluation concluded that the item worked well across ESS countries and generated meaningful data on respondents’ socio-cultural origins. There were no significant problems with implementation reported. However, the evaluation also highlighted a number of ways in which the item could be improved especially as regards adaptation for different countries. These include improved guidance on translation, revisions to the harmonised code-frame, and more consistent treatment of sub-national socio-cultural groups. This evaluation report will be of interest both to researcher’s wishing to carry out substantive analyses using the new ESS ancestry measure and survey methodologists interested in lessons learned for the development of cross-national questionnaires and classifications.

Syntax for constructing the derived variables and the latest version of the code frame (Round 11) is available:

Schwartz's Cultural Value Orientations

Based on the ESS, Hermann Dülmer, Shalom Schwartz, Jan Cieciuch, Eldad Davidov and Peter Schmidt developed Cultural Value Orientations. This estimated for the first time a multilevel CFA for Schwartz’s model of cultural value orientations and compared the estimated latent factor scores for the cultural values with additive indexes.

Two datasets (SPSS and Stata) that are available for download include the factor scores and additive indexes of the cultural value orientations (ESS rounds 2-7). This data has been made available by the authors for researchers who are interested in using the macro-indicators for their own research.

An article was published by Survey Research Methods.


The aim of this study is to compare results of measuring the Schwartz (2004) cultural value orientations using multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (ML CFA) vs. the unweighted aggregated means (simple means) used in previous research. We conduct this comparison with data from the 21-item short version of the Portrait Values Questionnaire in 6 rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS). An advantage of estimating factor scores via ML CFA vs. simple means is that ML CFA weights the impact of the factors on their indicators empirically. It also permits simultaneously assessing Schwartz’ 10 individual level and 7 cultural level values by decomposing the total variances of the 21 items into a within part (individual values) and a between part (cultural values), while controlling for random measurement errors. High intercorrelations between related values in ML CFA required unifying two pairs of cultural values. Comparing correlations with theoretically relevant macro indicators of the factor scores and of the simple means of the cultural values indicated somewhat higher external validity for the factor scores. Taken together, the findings suggest that the derived factor scores provide suitable macro indicators of Schwartz’ cultural value orientations for future studies using the ESS data.

Script to construct an indicator of social class

Codes in Stata, R and SPSS with descriptions

An article was published in International Sociology:


Over the last 30 years, trends such as service sector growth, welfare state expansion and rising female participation rates have promoted increasing heterogeneity within the occupational system. Accordingly, this article argues that the class map has to be redrawn in order to grasp these changes in the employment structure. For that purpose, it develops the bases of a new class schema that partly shifts its focus from hierarchical divisions to horizontal cleavages. The middle class is not conceptualized as a unitary grouping and the manual/non-manual divide is not used as a decisive class boundary. Instead, emphasis is put on differences in marketable skills and the work logic.

The schema is expected to more accurately reflect the class location of unskilled service employees and to make visible the political divide within the salaried middle class. This expectation is empirically examined with survey data from Britain, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Findings for earnings and promotion prospects indicate that the schema successfully captures the hierarchical dimension in the class structure. Moreover, results for party support and union membership suggest that the schema grasps a salient horizontal cleavage between managers and sociocultural professionals.

Keywords: class analysis; class voting; electoral sociology; employment structure; socioeconomic inequalities

R package: essurvey

Developed by by Jorge Cimentada, the esssurvey package is designed to download ESS data as easily as possible into the R statistical software. It provides helper functions to download rounds for all countries or for a selected country only and to show which rounds/countries are available on the ESS website. Documentation and examples are available on the package's website.

Please note that this resource is currently unavailable, due to a change in data publishing architecture.

Find out more

The main ESS Prospectus includes information about participating in our survey.

A separate brochure focuses on our experiences of fielding a cross-national online web panel, and how one could be implemented in future.



ESS ERIC Prospectus

The revised and updated version of the Prospectus was published in March 2024.

Select a language to download the PDF

CRONOS Prospectus

CRONOS Prospectus

A Prospectus that outlines how a CROss-National Online Survey (CRONOS) may be implemented.

Select a language to download the PDF