British Social Attitudes Survey, 2021


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.BackgroundThe British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey series began in 1983. The series is designed to produce annual measures of attitudinal movements to complement large-scale government surveys that deal largely with facts and behaviour patterns, and the data on party political attitudes produced by opinion polls. One of the BSA's main purposes is to allow the monitoring of patterns of continuity and change, and the examination of the relative rates at which attitudes, in respect of a range of social issues, change over time. Some questions are asked regularly, others less often. Funding for BSA comes from a number of sources (including government departments, the Economic and Social Research Council and other research foundations), but the final responsibility for the coverage and wording of the annual questionnaires rests with NatCen Social Research (formerly Social and Community Planning Research). The BSA has been conducted every year since 1983, except in 1988 and 1992 when core funding was devoted to the British Election Study (BES).Further information about the series and links to publications may be found on the NatCen Social Research British Social Attitudes webpage.

BSA 2021The 2021 BSA survey used a mixed-mode push-to-web design with an optional Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) opt-in. Letters were sent to a random sample of addresses inviting up to two household members to complete the survey online, with an option to be interviewed by phone if preferred. This is the same design used for the 2020 BSA. Before 2020, BSA was a face-to-face survey, but this was changed due to the public health measures introduced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.   The full BSA 2021 report, Broken Britain? Public attitudes in an era of crisis is available from the NatCen Social Research website.

Main Topics:Each year, the BSA interview questionnaire contains a number of 'core' questions, which are repeated in most years. In addition, a wide range of background and classificatory questions is included. The remainder of the questionnaire is devoted to a series of questions (modules) on a range of social, economic, political and moral issues - some are asked regularly, others less often. Cross-indexes of those questions asked more than once appear in the reports.

In 2021 the questionnaire included the following topics: Household Composition, Employment, Politics, Welfare, Benefits and Income, National Identity and Ethnicity, Religion, Disability, Education, EU Referendum and the General Election, Benefits and Income, Spending and Governance, Immigration, Equal Opportunities, Identity and Britishness, Work and Health, Child Maintenance, Digital, Work and COVID-19, Pensions and Retirement, Sexual Relationships, Parental Leave, Disability, Mental Health and the Workplace, Social Mobility, Social Class, Satisfaction with Health and Care Services, Health and Care Spending, NHS Priorities and Principles, New Home Building, Buying or Renting a Home, COVID-19 and the Home. 

Multi-stage stratified random sample

See documentation for each BSA year for full details.

Self-administered questionnaire: Web-based (CAWI)

Telephone interview: Computer-assisted (CATI)

Metadata Access
Creator NatCen Social Research
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2023
Funding Reference Department for Work and Pensions; Government Equalities Office; Nuffield Trust; The King's Fund; Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
Rights Copyright National Centre for Social Research; <p>The Data Collection is available to UK Data Service registered users subject to the <a href="" target="_blank">End User Licence Agreement</a>.</p> <p>Commercial use of the data requires approval from the data owner or their nominee. The UK Data Service will contact you.</p> <p>Additional conditions of use apply:</p> <p>Commercial organisations must notify the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) by email ( stating their intended use and seeking permission for download. Permission to download may incur a charge. The UK Data Service will be monitoring usage and providing NatCen with usage reports.</p>
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Numeric
Discipline Economics; History; Humanities; Jurisprudence; Law; Philosophy; Social and Behavioural Sciences
Spatial Coverage Great Britain