Family Resources Survey (FRS)

The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is a continuous survey with a sample size of 19,000 private households (25,000 prior to 1997). Fieldwork is carried out jointly by the Office for National Statistics and the National Centre for Social Research.

The Family Resources Survey is an annual cross-sectional study of private households in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The main topics of the survey include:

  • household characteristics (composition, tenure type), tenure and housing costs
  • consumer behaviour
  • use of health services, informal care
  • welfare/school milk and meals
  • children in education, educational grants and loans
  • occupation and employment details (wages, pensions)
  • health restrictions on work, children's health
  • income and benefit receipt
  • taxation and investments.

The annual FRS aims to: support the monitoring of the social security programme; support the costing and modelling of changes to national insurance contributions and social security benefits; provide better information for the forecasting of benefit

Spatial Coverage: 
United Kingdom
Data Creator: 
Department of Social Security.
Office of National Statistics. Social Survey Division.
Social and Community Planning Research.
Time Period: 

Cross-sectional study: Annual survey beginning in 1993.

Note: In 1979 there was a Family Resources Survey (SN 1930; Persistent Identifier:10.5255/UKDA-SN-1930-1 ) which was a follow up to the Family Finances Survey (SN 1765) carried out by the Department of Health and Social Security in 1978.

Data Publisher:


Machine-readable codebook in Adobe PDF and Microsoft Excel format.


The entire series of Family Resources Survey datasets (1994-1995 onwards) has been re-released due to the inclusion of a new (interim) grossing factor. The grossing factor has been introduced to make adjustments to the FRS for low income households in Scotland.This is, therefore, the second release of these datasets available via UKDA. The old versions of the data and documentation should no longer be used.

Further information about the Family Resources Survey is available from the Department for Work and Pensions.

UKDA Study Number: 
Data Access: 

Users must register with the UKDA before receiving a copy of data files.
Edinburgh University users may contact the Data Library for access.