General Lifestyle Survey (GLF/GLS)

Alternative Title: 
Supersedes: General Household Survey (GHS)

The General Household Survey (GHS) was 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 was conducted via face-to-face interview and was based on a sample of approximately 14,000 private households in Great Britain.

The main aim of the survey was to collect data on a range of core topics, covering household, family and individual information. This information was 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 consisted 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 covered the following topics: household information, accommodation type, housing tenure, consumer durables including vehicle ownership, and migration.

The individual questionnaire included data from the household dataset, and additional sections on employment, pensions, education, health, smoking, drinking, family information, financial situation, and income.

The  GLF closed in 2012.

Spatial Coverage: 
United Kingdom
Data Creator: 
Great Britain. Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Social Survey Division (1973 to 1995 surveys).
Great Britain. Office for National Statistics. Social Survey Division (1996 survey and beyond).
Time Period: 

Annual repeated cross-sectional study: General household survey 1971-2006, General lifestyle survey 1998-2011.

Data Publisher:


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 consisted of two elements: the Continuous Survey and trailers.

All interviews since 1994 were conducted using Computer Assisted Interviewing - the questionnaire being programmed in Blaise software.

File Descriptions: 



UKDA Study Number: 
Data Access: 

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