Students Staff

10 November 2016

New Insights into UK society today from longitudinal research

Insights report 2016

Understanding Society has published its fifth annual report highlighting some of the new topical policy-relevant research conducted recently using data from the annual survey which began in 2009 with around 100,000 individuals from 40,000 households.

Insights 2016 features research and policy analysis from a wide range of social scientists and policy thinkers addressing some of the major issues of the day, using data from Understanding Society.

Understanding Society is an innovative world-leading study about 21st century UK life and how it is changing over time, led by a team of experts at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex.

It captures important information about social and economic circumstances, attitudes and behaviours and the health of the same people living in households across over 5,000 postcodes in the UK every year. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and a consortium of government departments and devolved nations, Understanding Society is a significant resource for providing important evidence on policy issues.

Professor Michaela Benzeval, Director of Understanding Society said: “Insights is just a sample of some of the fascinating research being conducted using Understanding Society, by policy analysts here in the UK and by academics worldwide. By interviewing the same people year after year we can really see how the big political issues of the day are having an impact on lives and behaviours of individuals, and what matters to them. This evidence is crucial to effective policy making, for business and industry, and for the organisations, charities, councils and governments supporting, delivering and improving our services today.”

Chapter by chapter

  • Chapter 1 offers interesting insights into a number of important and topical issues relating to education challenges and policy responses.
  • Chapter 2 looks at the proportion of people of working age who are developing work-limiting long-term health conditions and the implications of this.
  • Chapter 3 examines the complexities of modern family life and the factors which have an impact on family wellbeing and child outcomes.
  • Chapter 4 studies how Understanding Society’s rich data is providing valuable policy learning in the UK, with particular reference to devolution.

Read Insights 2016

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