The National Survey for Wales is a study of people across the whole of Wales. The survey runs all year round, across the whole of Wales.

First published:
15 May 2018
Last updated:

The survey is one of the main ways in which the Welsh Government and Welsh Government Sponsored Bodies can find out about the views and lives of people in Wales.

The main themes of the survey are public services such as education and transport, leisure activities, and health and well-being.

Why are we conducting this research?

This study provides an opportunity for the people of Wales to help to shape the actions we take. The information collected will be used to help develop policies and decide how services are delivered. By taking part, you will be helping us to understand the needs of people in Wales and to make sure that money is spent in the right places and in the most effective way.

This research is being carried out by the Office for National Statistics on behalf of the Welsh Government, Sport Wales, the Arts Council of Wales, and Natural Resources Wales.

The Welsh Government is the devolved government for Wales.

Sport Wales is the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales.

The Arts Council of Wales is the country’s funding and development agency for the Arts.

Natural Resources Wales (external link) purpose is to ensure that the natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used, now and in the future.

Contact us

If you have any further questions about the survey please contact ONS on 0800 496 2119 or by email: surveyfeedback@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

Alternatively, you can contact the Welsh Government directly on 0300 060 4400 or by email at: surveys@gov.wales.

Documents

Advance letter
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Advance leaflet
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Further information

Why have I been chosen?

The National Survey is designed to gather the views of people across Wales. To visit every address in Wales would take too long and cost too much money. Instead, we select a representative sample of addresses and ask people at these addresses to take part.

These households are chosen at random from the Royal Mail’s list of addresses. Interviewers do not know who lives at the address until they visit it. Once an address has been selected for the study, we cannot replace it with another address. This means that we rely on the goodwill of those who have been chosen. Taking part in the survey is voluntary, but by taking part you will help make sure the results reflect the views of the whole of Wales.

What does taking part involve?

If your address is selected for the National Survey, you should receive (or may have already received) a letter and leaflet about the survey.  You will then receive a visit from an interviewer. All ONS interviewers carry an identity card. Please ask to see an identity card if you are unsure about a caller’s identity. The interviewer will ask a few questions about the people who live at the address. If more than one person lives at the address they will randomly select one person aged 16 or over to take part in the study. Selecting one person in this way helps to ensure that the study represents everyone in Wales.

The interviewer can only interview the person who has been selected. No-one else in the household can take their place. The success of the study relies on the goodwill and help of those who are chosen to take part.

The interviewer can make an appointment to carry out the interview at a convenient time for the person selected. You can also arrange an appointment by calling ONS on 0800 496 2119.

Is the study confidential?

Yes - Any personal information you give us will be kept confidential and in accordance with the Data Protection Act.  It will not be possible to identify you from any report based on the results.

Your details will not be used for marketing purposes.

Can I take part in Welsh?

Yes – many of the interviewers working on the study speak Welsh. If you would like the interview to be conducted in Welsh, please tell the interviewer who calls. If the interviewer does not speak Welsh, they can arrange for you to be visited by a Welsh speaking interviewer. Or, you can arrange for a Welsh speaking interviewer to visit you once you have received the letter telling you your household has been selected to take part in the study, simply by calling 0800 496 2119.

Data linking in the National Survey

Respondents to the National Survey have their anonymised survey answers linked to other data sources. Names, addresses and postcodes are not included in the linked data. The information is used for research purposes only.

Respondents are able to opt out of having their answers linked. This can be done when taking part in the survey, or afterwards by contacting Siobhan Evans, in the Welsh Government’s National Survey project team, on 0300 025 6685 or by email: surveys@gov.wales.

Data linking

Data linking is the process of bringing together person-level records from different sources.

What are the benefits of data linking?

Linking information to other records:

  • reduces demands on people to take part in surveys such as the National Survey for Wales
  • greatly reduces the cost of collecting information
  • allows different types of information to be more readily available, and so allows research to be carried out more quickly
  • allows better use to be made of already existing information.

Data linking in the National Survey

The Health Information Research Unit (HIRU) for Wales is a research unit based at Swansea University. The core of HIRU’s work is linking information from a number of surveys and databases across Wales.

Respondents to the National Survey have their anonymised survey answers linked to other data sources by HIRU. Names, addresses and postcodes are not included in the linked data. The information is used for research purposes only.

Respondents are able to opt out of having their answers linked. This can be done when taking part in the survey, or afterwards by contacting Siobhan Evans, in the Welsh Government’s National Survey project team, on 0300 025 6685 or by email: surveys@gov.wales.

Documents

Data linking information showcard
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Data linking flowchart
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