UK announces funding for largest ever household survey

The UK Government has announced the first social sciences project to receive funding under the new Large Facilities Capital Fund. Some GBP 15.5 million (?22,17 million) will go to the study of
40,000 UK households over five years, providing information on the people of the UK, their lives, experiences, behaviour, expectations, beliefs and how these change over time.

‘This study will have enormous benefits for the UK’s society and revolutionises our capacity to study areas such as poverty, migration, labour market dynamics, crime and ageing,’ said the UK’s
Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson.

‘The depth and breadth of the study will provide an unrivalled evidence base for national and regional government,’ he added. ‘When analysing the research we hope to open up major new
opportunities for informed long-term policy-making on key topics such as responding to environmental change, tax and pensions, the provision of public services, health and education.’

The survey will replace the existing British Household Panel Survey, which was established in 1991 and involves 5,500 households. These households will be incorporated into the new study.

The much larger sample size will enable the analysis of sub-groups, such as teenage parents, and facilitate analysis at regional and country level.

Within each household involved in the study, each adult and child over the age of 11 will be interviewed annually, providing ongoing information on the family and the environment in which a
child is developing.

The sample will include an over-representation of ethnic minority groups in order to provide a detailed analysis of the make-up of UK society, says the UK’s Department for Innovation,
Universities and Skills.

The Large Facilities and Capital Fund has an annual budget of around GBP 100 million (?143 million). The funding is available for the UK Research Councils to invest in new and replacement
large-scale scientific facilities.

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