About our data

Our service provides unified access to the UK's largest collection of social, economic and population data for research and teaching purposes covering a range of different disciplines.

The majority of our data are fully anonymised, unless otherwise specified in the relevant online catalogue records, and are therefore not suitable for genealogical users or family historians.

Types of data available:

Quantitative

  • microdata are the coded numerical responses to surveys with a separate record for each individual respondent
  • macrodata are aggregate figures, for example country-level economic indicators
  • data formats include SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited formats

Qualitative

  • data include in-depth interviews, diaries, anthropological field notes and the complete answers to survey questions
  • data formats include Excel, Word and Rich Text Format (RTF)

Multimedia

  • a small number of datasets may include image files, such as photographs, and audio clips

Non-digital material

  • paper media could include photographs, reports, questionnaires and transcriptions
  • analogue audio or audio-visual recordings

Sources of our data:

  • official agencies - mainly central government
  • international statistical agencies
  • individual academics with research grants
  • market research agencies
  • historical sources
  • other data archives worldwide

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The UK Data Service website will be undergoing an upgrade to our systems from Thursday 23 August until Wednesday 29 August inclusive. Some parts of the current website, account area and data catalogue will be unavailable. Normal services are expected to resume on 30 August 2018. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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