The General Household Survey (GHS) is a continuous national survey of people living in private households conducted on an annual basis, by the Social Survey Division of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The survey is conducted via face-to-face interview and is based on a sample of approximately 14,000 private households in Great Britain.
The main aim of the survey is to collect data on a range of core topics, covering household, family and individual information. This information is used by government departments and other organisations for planning, policy and monitoring purposes, and to present a picture of households, family and people in Great Britain.
The main GHS consists of a household questionnaire, completed by the Household Reference Person, and an individual questionnaire, completed by all adults aged 16 and over resident in the household.
The household questionnaire covers the following topics: household information, accommodation type, housing tenure, consumer durables including vehicle ownership, and migration.
The individual questionnaire includes data from the household dataset, and additional sections on employment, pensions, education, health, smoking, drinking, family information, financial situation, and income.
The GHS is now known as the General LiFestyle Survey (GLF) and is a module of the Integrated Household Survey (IHS)
Repeated cross-sectional study: Annual survey beginning in 1971.
UK Data Archive, University of Essex
Machine-readable codebooks in Adobe PDF format. For further information including reports and tables visit the ONS website
The new millennium saw the introduction of enhancements to the methodology of the GHS and a basic change to the way in which the survey is planned and run.
The review of the GHS carried out in 1997 concluded that the survey should be re-launched from April 2000 with a different design. From April 2000, the survey consists of two elements: the Continuous Survey and trailers.
All interviews since 1994 have been conducted using Computer Assisted Interviewing - the questionnaire being programmed in Blaise software.
SPSS export files (except SPSS portable files for 1991, 1998-2004 surveys).
Users must register before receiving a copy of data files.
Edinburgh University users may contact the Data Library for access.
This article was published on Feb 26, 2013