SERISS representative:

Rory Fitzgerald

SERISS Coordinator and

Director, ESS ERIC

The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically driven cross-national survey that has been conducted every two years across Europe since 2001.

The survey measures the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of diverse populations in more than thirty nations. The main aims of the ESS are to:

  • Chart stability and change in social structure, conditions and attitudes in Europe and to interpret how Europe’s social, political and moral fabric is changing
  • Achieve and spread higher standards of rigour in cross-national research in the social sciences, including for example, questionnaire design and pre-testing, sampling, data collection, reduction of bias and the reliability of questions
  • Introduce soundly-based indicators of national progress, based on citizens’ perceptions and judgements of key aspects of their societies
  • Undertake and facilitate the training of European social researchers in comparative quantitative measurement and analysis
  • Improve the visibility and outreach of data on social change among academics, policy makers and the wider public

Data collected over eight rounds of the survey since 2002/03 is freely available to download for non-commercial use from the ESS website. This incorporates the results of over 400,000 interviews undertaken in 38 European countries. Over 140,000 people have registered to use the data on its online portal or via download and almost 4,000 journal articles, books, chapters or working papers analysing the data have been published (2004-17).

In late 2013 the ESS became a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) meaning that each country funds their own participation and data collection. Ahead of Round 10 (2020/21) fieldwork, ESS ERIC currently has 24 member countries and one observer countries. Over 30 countries participated in Round 9 (2018/19) and 27 countries are already committed to taking part in Round 10.

ESS ERIC is responsible for the overall strategic coordination and day-to-day management of the project. It leads on WP3: Maximising equivalence through translation and WP7: A survey future online. It is involved in all other work packages.