ESS - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A: For access to ESS data please register. After having done this, your email address will be your username (no password is required). Choose the relevant ESS round in the horizontal menu, and you can download datasets in por- or sas-formats (.por file including sas set up files) under the "data download" tab. You can either download an integrated file, or a file for your country of interest (see scroll-down menu at bottom of page). It is also possible to download data through the Nesstar Online Browsing and Analysis option. See Introduction to using NESSTAR.
A: All ESS data are available free of charge, for non-profit purposes. You may download the ESS data online by first registering, following the very simple registration procedure on our data web page. Use your registered e-mail address to log in and you will have access to all rounds of the ESS.
For more information, see ESS Conditions of use.
A: Please fill in the User Registration. No confirmation e-mail or password is necessary; your e-mail address is your log in.
A: No confirmation e-mail is necessary, nor is any password. Your registered e-mail address is your log in.
A: Please use your registered e-mail address as log in, as no password is needed to access the ESS data.
A: If you have completed registration, you may download the data files in a portable SPSS format or in SAS format (.por file with SAS set-up files) by clicking on the “data download” submenu for each ESS round in the left menu on the ESS data web page. Our web page enables you to download an integrated file for each round, as well as only the country files.
It is also possible to download data through the Nesstar Online Browsing and Analysis option.
A: A .por file is a special format file (portable file) created by SPSS, which can be read directly into SPSS without a program. Simply open SPSS, drag the .por file into the SPSS data window, and the data should appear. After opening the .por file you may save the data in .sav format. Note that for ESS Round 4, .sav files are made available on the data download pages in the zipped SPSS folders.
A: If you would like to download other formats than portable SPSS (por) or SAS, you may use the Nesstar Online Browsing and Analysis option. Click on icon to the left of required ESS round in left menu, before clicking on the download icon on the top bar menu. Download options include formats supported by SPSS (.sav format), STATA, Statistica, NSDstat, Dbase, and a variety of delimited text formats.
A: If you want to download a data file which contains data from more than one country but less than the full integrated file, you may use the Online Browsing and Analysis function to tailor your data set. Click on icon to the left of required ESS round in left menu, and subset required countries before clicking on the download icon on the top bar menu.
A: You may download the data in other formats (lenke til faq om andre formater). Moreover, the ESS website provides an Online Browsing and Analysis option that can be very handy for users who do not have access to statistics packages like SPSS or SAS. To access the data of interest to you, click the box to the left of the relevant ESS round. Click on the + sign in front of "Variable description". When clicking on the + sign in front of the variable group you wish to explore, a list of variables included in that group will appear. By clicking on the label of each variable, you'll get a full description of the variables in the dataset.
You can activate the TABLE or ANALYSIS icons on the top bar menu and run simple analyses by selecting variables from the variable tree. (Click on a variable in the tree to include it in a table or analysis.) Please remember to use the weights when working with the ESS data.
Q: Why are not all the countries listed as participating countries present in the integrated data file?
A: Unfortunately we are not always able to include all participating countries in the first release of each ESS round. The countries will in most cases be included in the integrated file in additional releases as soon as they are ready for publication. Please note that the list of countries participating changes between rounds.
In a few cases we have not been able to compute design weights for all ESS countries. Countries without a design weight will not be included in the integrated file, but the data will be made available in a separate file. The same is the case for example when a country's sampling plan is not approved by the ESS Sample team. For more information on explicit cases please see the Documentation report for the given round and country.
A: It happens that variables in some countries are omitted from the ESS data. There are several reasons why this happen, but in general there has been a problem with the way the question has been fielded resulting in data that are not comparable with data from the rest of the ESS participating countries. More information on such cases can be found under “Summary and deviations” for each round of the ESS.
Q: Is there a variable with information on respondent's urban/rural location, or population size/density of respondent's residence?
A: The variable "Domicile, respondent's description" is mapping this rural/urban dimension. This variable, as the name indicates, represents however the respondent's own view of his/her surroundings, and is strictly speaking not an objective description of urbanity/rurality. When browsing the data online the DOMICIL variable is found in the "Socio-demographics" section.
A: The ESS consists of a 'core' module, which remains relatively constant from round to round, plus two or more 'rotating' modules, repeated at intervals.
The core module aims to monitor change and continuity in a wide range of social variables, including media use; social and public trust; political interest and participation; socio-political orientations; governance and efficacy; moral; political and social values; social exclusion, national, ethnic and religious allegiances; well-being; health and security; human values; demographics and socio-economics.
The rotating modules touch upon a number of different subjects such as citizenship, involvement and democracy and immigration (ESS1); family, work and well-being and opinions on health and care-seeking (ESS2). More information on the topics of the rest of the ESS rounds and a more detailed description of the different topics can be found on the ESS home page under questionnaire, rotating modules and main questionnaire.
A: Under "Fieldwork documents" for each ESS round can you find both the original ESS source documents in English, and, on the right hand side, you can find the documents fielded in each participating country.